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Re: [IPk] school from hell (was DLA)

Hi Pat

I didnt reply earlier as it is the twins 8th birthday today and I have
been soooooo busy.

The school do try, but looking after a child with diabetes when you are only
give an hour or two instructions  in care is quite difficult.  Sasha's school
on a split site the infants school had classroom helpers and a first aider.
Even they took a while to get things right.  The Junior school where she is
now have no such
luxury and Sasha's teacher who is lovely, kind and helpful has her hands full
with 31 other children too.

When Sasha started at the school we went in to see the Head teacher and he set
up a meeting with Sasha's new teacher and the  then before school started in
The diabetes nurse came and gave a talk to all the staff.  We have given the
the "school pack" to read and to keep on file.  We also gave a one page
guideline sheet telling them exactly what to do according to what blood sugar
She cannot always recognise the difference between highs and lows so she
checks if she doesn't feel right.

But the  trouble is you cannot write instructions for every scenario and there
are times when things have come up that I haven't written instructions for
I wouldn't dream would happen.

The last serious incident was when the children were going on a trip to the
local library and my husband was going to go along too.  He told the teacher
the day before he was coming along (they like to have parents to walk with the
children because of crossing roads act).  When my husband turned up at
the appointed time he couldn't find the class anywhere.  Someone told him they
had already left.  So he ran down to the library but found it was locked so he
went back to the school to see if he had missed them.  There are two ways you
could walk there.  Going back to the library he found it now open, they had
let them
in early and the locked it.  He found that the teacher hadn't checked to see
if Sasha had her snack with her, she didnt, and she didnt have the hypo stop
anything at all to treat a hypo.  The teacher has our mobile phone no.s in the
she could have rung to tell my husband they were leaving early.  I was quite
worried as I thought from all we had said that she would know that Sasha
should go anywhere without her kit.  My husband had to run back to his car to
get the stuff that we keep in our car.   When my husband got home and told me
I was mad,
because the week before the deputy head had cancelled choir and not informed
the parents and most of the children didnt know.  It was lucky that I go up to
check after school because the children were on their own in the hall milling
around and some had gone outside to look for the parents.  Sasha was also
very low and stumbling around.

Anyway I rang Sasha's teacher and told her   how concerned I was that
she had been taken out of the school without supplies.  Sasha also has coeliac
condition so I can imagine the teacher panicking if she went low, not having
gluten free to hand.  She was most apologetic and when I suggested that it
be better for young diabetic children to have a classroom assistant she said
she didnt usually have  a problem and this was a once off oversight.

Last week Sasha had a supply teacher because her usual teacher was away
with a school trip.  They didnt tell me.  The supply teacher didn't read the
or know enough about diabetes.  So when Sasha kept complaining of a headache
she sent her outside to sit in the cool because the classroom was hot and
It clearly says on the guidelines that a headache could be a sign of a hypo
and that
she should do a blood test.  It is probably very difficult to impart all the
a supply teacher needs in the time they are given.  What also makes me mad
it that both of the teachers who know what to do if Sasha has a bad hypo were
away and no one told me.  The other teachers know that Sasha is diabetic but
they dont have to deal with her often they probably don't have a clue.
Sasha has never become unconscious or had a fit at school so I do not
think they appreciate what could really happen.

I run a small support group and I compared with what has happened to other
at other school locally Sasha is lucky.  The teachers just don't really have
knowledge and have so many other children to look out for and teach it is a
At least she is allowed to test in class.

I regularly go on school trips with the kids.  I did with my other children
and it's very difficult
to keep you eye on what the kids are up to.  Even when lots of other Mums go
it's still
eye-opening.   wouldn't dream of letting Sasha go on a day trip without me or
Terry going along.
 It would be too easy for an unfamiliar person to not recognise when Sasha is
going low.
The teachers wouldn't do a glucagon injection although some will use an epi
pen if a child with
an allergy needs its.

The Head is leaving soon and so we have to go in again and spend time going
things again with a new head but it's so difficult to cover all situations and
impart enough
knowledge in a hour or two.  After all when we first came home from hospital
we had
24 hours support from our D team and didnt have 31 other children in our
charge at the same
time to teach and care for.  They know they can phone me anytime but that
means leaving
the classroom and I think they feel that they should be able to deal with
things without ringing.

I think all classes that have a diabetic child in should automatically have a
classroom assistant.
Not to hang around Sasha alone, but to make sure she has her  snacks at the
right time and tests before
swimming and games if necessary.  To leave the class to phone with any

After all if the  teacher has to stop and deal with a hypo or just because
Sasha is feeling dizzy she is not
able to pay attention to the other children.

Anyway I have gone on enough now.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Pat Reynolds" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: 09 May 2002 18:33
Subject: [IPk] school from hell (was DLA)

> Dear Jackie,
> The description of the horrible school your child is at made me angry!
> Have you been to the head about it?  If you had no joy there, what did
> the governors say?  The LEA?  Is another school an option?  Is home
> schooling?
> Do keep a diary of incidents.  If you want to scare them, get the
> teacher to sign the diary each week.  I think just one of those
> incidents would be enough for you to start screaming - not all of them
> at once!
> Worry about your other daughter, too: if this is how they deal with
> dis[oops, no I won't type that word] diabetes, then how do they deal
> with bullying?  With racism?  With illiteracy?  Seriously, would you
> want any child there?  You may find other parents share your concerns
> with the school and will help you.
> Best wishes,
> Pat
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