In Canada, there are no federal policies that govern the care of children with diabetes in schools. Education is under the jurisdiction of each province. It is up to the province or individual school boards to put in place a policy or other form of protection for children with diabetes in their school systems.
Below are the most recent policies we have available for the Atlantic provinces and the three Territories. If you have an addition to make, please contact us
New Brunswick’s Education Act states that in order for children to participate in school programs, and attend school, careful attention must be given to the provision of proper Health Support Services. Health Support Services are those services that would normally be rendered at home by the parent or guardian of the student in order to relieve discomfort, that needs to be provided during school hours, and, which cannot be given at another time of the day. All school personnel are impacted under these obligations, and whether or not a nurse is on the premises, the responsibility remains.
Children with diabetes in this province are considered to require Essential Routine Services. Parents are required to meet with school personnel before the beginning of each school year to set or review the student’s care plan and complete the Health Support and Care Form. In conjunction with the school, they are to participate in a training session on life-threatening conditions and include teaching and support staff.
The school district is to designate school personnel other than the teacher who will be participating in providing routine care procedures. There must be more than one staff member trained to provide an alternate person in case of absence or unavailability.
Designated personnel must participate in the meeting with the parent or guardian in order to get a clear understanding of the student’s needs.
Students are required to wear proper medical identification (such as Medic Alert). They are also to carry emergency supplies with them at all times.
Should parents or guardians, following notification, refuse to participate in developing an individual care plan with the school, the principal shall:
Send a letter to the parents or guardians reminding them that their refusal to cooperate appears to be placing the security of the student at risk, according to their obligation under the Family Services Act.
The Department of Education has no official position on the administering of glucagon. Individual school districts have been handling requests as they are encountered. So far, it is believed that only one school district has received a request and they did make arrangements to accommodate.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador has released guidelines for caring for children with diabetes in all schools within the province. Based on the New Brunswick model, the roles and responsibilities of parents and staff are outlined. It is also important to note that this policy also allows for the administration of glucagon in the classroom setting.
Annapolis Valley School Board
The principal will provide a staff member and a backup to be trained and give injections. Parents must sign a release and provide detailed information regarding their child’s care.
Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School
Halifax Regional School Board
Insulin will only be administered by a health professional, student or parent. Parents can request assistance with glucose testing.
Strait Regional School Board
Each school is required to have a detailed medical plan for children with special needs. It is to be developed with parents, health care workers, and school personnel.
Prince Edward Island
At this time, there are currently no specific related diabetes policies in place with either the province of Prince Edward Island or it’s three school districts. There are forms relating to the administering of medication.
The Northwest Territories has a Departmental Directive on Inclusive Schooling. It states “Inclusive Schooling is a philosophical and practical educational approach, which strives to respond to individual students needs, and is intended to ensure equal access for all students to educational programs offered in regular classroom settings” (February 1993). A student who has medical needs as a part of his/her educational program is supported through the school administration of the school he/she attends. The school receives additional funding for supporting students with special needs. These funds may be used to hire educational assistants to help meet the medical needs of students in their classrooms.
Schools also have access to medical support and teaching from the public health nurses in Yellowknife and the community health nurses in communities outside Yellowknife. Health professionals often provide the necessary medical service(s) required for students with severe medical conditions or provide the training to school personnel who then can provide the medical support needed.
Policy explained as per Dan Daniels, Assistant Deputy Minister Education and Culture NWT
There is currently no policy in place relating to diabetes. School staff will not do injections. Nurses from Home and Community Care can come to the school to provide this service if it were required. Issues relating to diabetes will be looked at on a case by case basis in concert with the Health Centers.
Information provided by Margaret Joyce, Student Support Coordinator, Department of Education, Nunavut.
Currently, there are no policies available for this Territory.