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 and 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 provisions made in Alberta , British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
On February 12, 2019, Education Minister David Eggen released new guidelines for the care and support of children with type 1 diabetes in Alberta schools.
Under it, the government suggests that children with type 1 diabetes should have an Individual Care Plan in place that will address both daily management and offer an emergency plan. These plans should be developed with collaboration between parents, the school, and health service partners. They should be reviewed, and changed if needed, on an annual basis.
The new guidelines for treatment of children with diabetes in Alberta further outline the roles and responsibilities of the student, parents, and the school. The guidelines further state that “Working cooperatively with parents/guardians, school staff, healthcare professionals and community service providers is critical to a successful ICP and management of the child/student’s medical needs.”
You can read the entire document and its recommendations here.
Buffalo Trail Public Schools
Calgary Board of Education
Each school in consultation with the parents (and regional health authority staff when required) makes the appropriate arrangements for children with diabetes based on the student’s age, school program, etc. A properly completed and signed Medical Application and Release Form must be received from the parents and approved by the principal at the beginning of each school year.
Subject to written arrangements acceptable to and approved by the principal, a parent may arrange for a student to receive health care from a private agency or practitioner.
For further detailed information go to Calgary School Board Policy 6002
Chinook’s Edge School District
Edmonton School Board
If a child registered with the Edmonton School Board cannot care for their own medical needs, the principal will require a signed request from the parents and physician indicating the type of medication to be administered, required dosage, and emergency response instructions. The principal may then make appropriate arrangements with the teacher or other reliable adult willing to administer the medication and to undertake its safekeeping. An alternate person should also be identified and trained in case of absence. A record of instructions and arrangements will be retained in the school office.
The giving of sugar to a child with diabetes when needed should not be considered as the administering of medication. See section 10 which states:
In regards to Type 1 diabetes:
- The administration of a quick acting glucose source (e.g. glucose tablets, unsweetened juice, sugared candy) or the provision of follow up snacks (e.g., digestive biscuits, crackers, cheese) is acceptable and can be dispensed by any staff in accordance with written instructions from the parent (refer to 6a). Parents should be advised when a quick acting glucose source for low blood sugar has been administered.
- When developmentally capable, students shall be allowed to test their own blood levels upon request of the parent or student. If requested, students should be allowed to conduct blood testing in the classroom or schools are to provide an environment of confidentiality that enables and enhances the student’s ability to
manage their health condition.
For further detailed information on the Edmonton School Board’s Policy on Administering Medicine in Schools and Emergency Procedures
Edmonton has also added that “students requiring prescription medication and/or blood glucose testing shall have a Student Focused Medication Management Plan, completed in consultation with the parent”. These were major adjustments to the previous policy and should assist parents in attaining adequate care for their child with diabetes who is in the Edmonton Public School system.
Foothills School Division
Policy I-534 Administration of Medication to Students. See part C for use
of Glucagon in school.
The Administering of Medication in Schools is a very basic guideline.
There is nothing diabetes specific but this policy would cover the injection of insulin as well as the treatment of hypoglycemia.
Grassland Regional Division 6
Policy Code 184.108.40.206
Appendix C: The Treatment of Diabetes (Page 18)
Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board
Administrative Procedure 313.
Student Health Services
Horizon School Division No. 67
Lethbridge School District No. 51
Policy 504.1.3.A Treatment of Diabetic Students
This is a wonderful and comprehensive policy! It provides definitions of diabetes
related terms and treatment options for hypoglycemia. It allows for the training of school personnel in the use of Glucagon. It further offers a comprehensive “Diabetes Care” form that is a must for all schools.
Medicine Hat School District No. 76
Policy 640 Medical Treatment for Students
This is a very basic guideline that deals with the administering of medicine in schools. There is nothing diabetes specific but would cover the injection of insulin as well as the treatment of hypoglycemia.
Diabetes in School: With appropriate planning, an individual with diabetes
can participate in all school activities. Individuals with diabetes may, at times, require assistance and support from teachers and school staff. Individuals should be encouraged to manage their diabetes care in the school setting, to the extent that is appropriate for their maturity and experience with diabetes. The
extent of an individual’s ability to participate in self-care tasks should be agreed upon by the parent/guardian, school personnel, health care team and student if appropriate. When all team members work together, concerns relating to diabetes management of the individual, family and school staff can be effectively addressed.
The March 2015 policy does allow for staff to inject, bolus and/or supervise insulin dosing in schools.
In October of 2013, the BC government announced that it was increasing in school supports for students with Type 1 diabetes. The resulting “Taking Care of Diabetes at School” online module continues to be a work in progress. General information can be found at the BC Children’s Hospital website.
The province of Saskatchewan provides added funding to school divisions to assist them in providing appropriate programs and supports for children with chronic illness. The individual school board is then responsible to implement the
Saskatchewan Learning suggests annual meetings with parents, staff, and health care providers to draw up individual health care plans and to provide for proper training of staff.
Student Health: Medication to Students
The principal or trained volunteer staff designate shall be responsible for administering medication to a student. Staff may carry out any medical procedure that a parent routinely performs after he/she has been trained in the
presence of a parent by a medical professional. The training session must be documented, dated and signed by the parent, trainer, staff member and principal. If the principal refuses to administer medication or the Board determines that a health care person should be responsible for this, the Board will arrange for such a person. The principal will ensure that a Record of Medication Administered is properly maintained. In case of an emergency, the Administration of Medication form should also include a detailed plan of action. All staff should be made aware of and trained in the emergency procedures. Each fall, the Principal will submit to the Student Services Coordinator, the list of students having chronic medical conditions.
Davidson School Division No. 31
Health Care Service in Schools (March 16, 1998)
Principals and teachers are not required to administer health care services to students. If they chose to do so then this provision must be approved by the Board of Education. The parent/guardian, must then keep the school fully informed in writing of the medical needs and any changes that may be required.
The parent/guardian will complete the Provision of Health Care Services Physician and Parent Form. This form will be completed at the beginning of each school year or anytime throughout the school year when a change in service is
requested by the parent.
Code 9Q. The Administration of Medications and Provisions of Health Support
Services (December 2004) A child requiring prescribed medication during the school day must have a Pupil Medication form on file signed by the parent/guardian. If there is the potential need an emergency injection (i.e.. Glucagon), designated staff members shall receive an in service from a qualified
medical person on this procedure. The principal will designate said staff members and arrange for the in service. The principal will arrange for the safe storage of all medicine.
Landswest School Division No. 123
A teacher or other staff member shall not give or administer any medication to a student unless specifically authorized by a parent/guardian.
Outlook School Division No. 32
Administration of Medicine and/or Medical Procedures (1999)
School personnel shall act as if a parent of a large family. They will have appropriate training, consultative support and knowledge of school board policy and procedures, in order to feel confident and protected when providing services to students. Training for any services will be provided by the appropriate agencies. Physicians and other healthcare professionals, with parents, will determine specific medications and healthcare procedures for children. Where the provision of procedures and use of medications are a part of the child’s daily living, they are not considered medical procedures. Students are encouraged to handle their own health needs to the best of their abilities.
The Provision of Medication Form shall be completed for each school year or at the time of medication change. A copy of this form will be sent to the Director
of Education for Board of Education approval. The original will be placed in the student’s cumulative file. The name of the student and all directions shall be clearly printed on the medication. The Principal shall ensure the maintenance of the Individual Student Medication Registry and ensure that it is kept locked in the cabinet with the medications. The parent/guardian will be responsible to ensure that the medication safely reaches the school. A separate room may be allocated for the administration of medication.
While unable to specifically read their policy. In the absence of a diabetes related policy, one can assume that diabetes care falls under their Administration of Medicine in School Policy (Code IS)
Staff Administration of Student
Where a parent requests assistance with the administration of medication, the principal will require the request in writing. This request will indicated that a
teacher or staff member is authorized to do the task. The parent/guardian will provide the name and telephone number of a physician in case of medical emergency. A letter from the physician may also be required outlining the prescribed dosage of medication and administration procedures. The medication should be kept up to date and in a secure environment.
Saskatoon School Division No. 13
Policy No. 81
The principal will decide who will administer medication to a child requiring this service in school. The delegated staff member will then act as would a reasonable and prudent parent. All medication administered will be logged by the principal.
Since 1995, Manitoba Education
and Youth has been in partnership with our departments of Family
Services and Housing and Health to provide interdepartmental policy and
funding support to community programs within our province through the
Unified Referral and Intake System (URIS).
programs include schools, licensed childcare facilities and situations
The Unified Referral and Intake
System Procedural Manual provides a classification of special health
care procedures and provides a protocol for community programs such as
schools to follow. Monitoring diabetes is one of the
Group B Classifications within the URIS Manual.
Schools with children who have
diabetes are able to secure the services of registered nurses who, in
collaboration with parents and school staff, develop an individual
health care plan for the child and provide training and monitoring to
school staff identified to support the child’s needs in school. The health care plan outlines the child’s specific health care needs and procedures with respect to diabetes and the necessary interventions required throughout the school day. The school staff utilizes the health care plan to assist them in providing for both the child’s educational and health care needs. If educational adaptations are required as a result of the child’s diabetes, school staff makes the necessary instructional adaptations to accommodate the child’s health care needs.
From Gerald Farthing, Assistant Deputy
Province of Manitoba
Dealing with Medical Procedures
A student with a chronic illness must have an Individual Health Management Plan in place. The principal should attempt to determine students who have chronic health problems though school registrations and should contact the students parents/guardians to determine the nature and severity of the illness, the symptoms and action required. An authorization for Release of Personal Health Information and Identification of Students Requiring Health Procedure
forms should be completed by the parents/guardians and retained in the child’s file. Information from this plan should be shared with all personnel employed by the school division who might have contact with the child. Family should be consulted about all excursions/field trips to ensure that all possible implications are covered. Whenever possible, the parent should be invited to go along.
A medic alert sticker should be placed on the tab of the student’s cumulative school file and beside their name on the homeroom register.
An Administering Medication in School form should also be completed.
Evergreen School Division
Where the administration of medication is not possible by the
parent/guardian or appropriate medical authority, the Division will
administer medication only in the manner, and under the conditions,
stipulated as administrative procedures. This medication administration
policy includes students, who by reason of insufficient age, maturity or
physical or cognitive ability, are not able to manage their own medication administration. The administration of medication in the school setting must be a necessary administration for the health of the student. Parents/guardians must provide all required information to the school and meet all conditions established by the Division.
Flin Flon School District
Fort La Bosse School Division
Medical Assistance. Policy JLCD Page 7 Section H. A Health Care
Plan will be filed and child’s file will be marked with a Medical Alert
sticker. Where the school is aware that a student suffers from diabetes, which might require school assistance in the injection or other administration of insulin, the following procedure will apply:
1. The principal will advise the parent or guardian in writing that the
school requires a fully executed Authorization and release (Form E).
Without a signed Form E appropriate response cannot be assured.
2. The principal will arrange for appropriate staff training in the
recognition of the signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar,
or insulin reaction) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar, or diabetic
coma), and the administration of oral glucose and the administration of
insulin, including by injection. The Public Health Nurse or URIS Nurse
may serve as a resource to parents and staff in this regard.
Any incident in which a student shows symptoms of hypoglycemia or
hyperglycemia, or in which the administration of oral glucose or insulin
has been required shall be reported to the parents/guardians and to the
4. It shall be the responsibility of the parent to replace the supply of
oral glucose and/or insulin and deliver the same to the school.
Interlake School Division
Administration of Medication
Providing a hypoglycemic child with sugar in such forms as apple
juice does not constitute administering medication. If the child
requires prescribed medication during school hours and the parent cannot
be at the school to administer the medication, the principal or staff
member designated by the principal will administer the medication
~That there is written authorization from the parent.
~The medicine is labeled by a pharmacist with his/her name and dosage
Portage la Prairie School Division
File JGCD: Students with Chronic
Medical Conditions (June 1992)
A specific Individual Management Plan is
to be prepared for each student with a chronic medical condition.
Before the commencement of the fall term, the school will attempt to
determine those children with chronic medical conditions who may require
medical attention during the school day. The principal will then meet
with the parents/guardians to establish the nature of the illness, the
symptoms, the action to be take in the case of illness, and ask for
other instructions of a specific nature which the parent may consider
necessary to safeguard the child. The principal will be responsible to
ensure that all staff have access to this information. A medic alert
sticker should be placed on the homeroom register of each chronically
ill child. If the child requires medication to be administered during
school hours, the procedures detailed in the “Administering Medicines to
Students” shall be strictly applied. Under no circumstances shall staff
ignore any symptoms or suggestions from a child that medical attention
may be required or necessary. In all instances where symptoms of the
illness manifest themselves or the child suggests he/she may be feeling
the onset of symptoms, the school shall respond in accordance with the
directives stated and, as deemed necessary, will communicate directly
with the parents or the child’s physician.
Southwestern Horizon School
JBC – Medical Situations
Southwest Horizon School Division acknowledges that certain students may
require medical procedures to be performed during the time the child is
in school. The Division will conduct health procedures based on the
following policy. The Unified Referral and Intake System Manual
developed by the Province of Manitoba is a primary reference and
guideline to schools.
In order for prescribed medication to be administered or medical
procedures to be implemented in school, parents/guardians and students
eighteen years of age and over must comply with the guidelines and
procedures outlined in this policy. The Division will work
collaboratively with the parents/guardians/students to ensure that
health care plans be developed as required.
Students With Chronic Medical
A specific individual management plan is to be prepared for each student
with a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, epilepsy, kidney
disease, asthma, migraine headaches, thyroid conditions, intestinal
disorders, and significant allergies. The guidelines in this policy will
assist the school administrator in preparing the plans required in each
On or before the commencement of school in the fall term, the school
shall take every reasonable step to determine those students in
attendance at the school who have a chronic disability or illness and
who require or may require medical attention during the school day. For
each student so determined, the school administration and team should:
1. Meet personally with the parents/guardians and obtain written
information from the parents/guardians detailing the nature of the
illness, the symptoms, the action to be taken in the case of illness
being manifested, and ask for other instructions of a specific nature
which the parent may consider necessary to safeguard the child.
2. Have the parents/guardians sign the release form.
3. Determine from the parents or, with the permission of the parents,
from the child’s physician the possible educational implications of the
illness and the possible side effects of any medication the child may be
taking or which may need to be administered at the school.
4. Communicate the above information to all personnel employed at the
school by filing the information in a readily accessible place.
5. Take such measures as may be necessary to ensure that chronically ill
children will be recognized by any member of the staff should medical
attention be required.
6. Ensure that all substitute teachers are aware of chronically ill
children placed in their care.
2. Where a chronically ill child requires or may require medication, the
procedures as detailed in Administration of Medicines shall be strictly
3. Under no circumstances shall staff ignore any symptoms or suggestions
from a child that medical attention may be required or necessary.
4. In all instances where symptoms of the illness manifest themselves or
the child suggests that he/she may be feeling the onset of symptoms, the
school shall respond in accordance with the directives provided under
#1. and, as deemed necessary, communicate directly with the parents or
the child’s physician.
5. On an annual basis (more often if deemed necessary) the principal’s
office shall verify the currency of the information provided by the
parents and/or the child’s physician.
Turtle Mountain School Division No 44
Turtle Mountain School Division
will establish a divisional Medical Protocol Manual to ensure the health
and safety of students with known medical conditions. The Medical
Protocol manual will be updated as necessary in consultation with health
officials and division staff by the Coordinator of Student Services.
In all matters relating to special health care of students in school,
procedure will be determined on a case by case basis. The source of
procedures which will be consulted in such matters as the primary
reference and guideline is The Unified Referral and Intake System Manual
developed by the Province of Manitoba. Recommended procedures will be
considered insofar as they can be implemented in local settings. (See
Procedural Guidelines M.1R)
Students With Chronic Medical
A specific individual management plan is to be prepared for each student
with diabetes. On or before the beginning of the school fall term, the
school shall attempt to identify all children with chronic medical
conditions. Their parents/guardians will be contacted. Written
information detailing the nature of the illness, the symptoms, the
action to be taken in the case of illness being manifested, and other
instructions of a specific nature which the parent may consider
necessary to safeguard the child. The parents will sign the release
Communicate the above information to all personnel employed at the
school by filing the information in a readily accessible place. Take
such measures as may be necessary to ensure that chronically ill
children will be recognized by any member of the staff should medical
attention be required. Ensure that all substitute teachers are aware of
chronically ill children placed in their care. Where a chronically ill
child requires or may require medication, the procedures as detailed in
Administering Medication to Students shall be strictly applied. Under
no circumstances shall staff ignore any symptoms or suggestions from a
child that medical attention may be required or necessary. In all
instances where symptoms of the illness manifest themselves or the child
suggests that he/she may be feeling the onset of symptoms, the school
shall respond in accordance with the directives provided under #1.a. and
as, deemed necessary, communicate directly with the parents or the
child’s physician. On an annual basis (more often if deemed necessary)
the principal’s office shall verify the currency of the information
provided by the parents and/or the child’s physician.
At the beginning of each year a
health care plan is developed for each child with medical needs.
Each plan reflects the needs and wishes of those involved in an
individual child’s life.