Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 17:32 UK

Diabetes forces Devon girl to move Plymouth schools

Becky Birchall
Becky Birchall was diagnosed with diabetes in 2009

A mother claims she was forced to take her diabetic daughter out of a school in Plymouth because staff refused to supervise insulin injections.

Helen Birchall's daughter Becky, five, has been moved from Widewell Primary School to a school which supervises injections.

Widewell's chairman of governors has apologised for "deficiencies in our policies and procedures".

Plymouth City Council said school staff were being given necessary training.

They told us that it would be in Becky's best interests to take her away from the school
Helen Birchall

Becky had only just started at Widewell in March 2009 when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

The result was that she needed an injection of insulin before lunch every day and had to carry out up to three blood tests a day while at school.

Mrs Birchall, 30, said the school refused to supervise her injections or blood tests.

Director's concern

She said: "They told us that it would be in Becky's best interests to take her away from the school.

"This obviously made it very difficult because she had to be taken away from friends that she loved and teachers that she loved in a school that she loved."

Chair of governors Rhodri Davey said in a letter to Mrs Birchall: "If a proper policy and procedure had been in place, I am sure that this would have been avoided."

Becky is now at another Plymouth school.

Mrs Birchall said: "I think care of children with diabetes should be standardised throughout all schools across the UK."

Bronwen Lacey, Plymouth's director of children's services, said she "shared the concern" about how Widewell treated Becky.

Officers were now giving staff advice and training on supervising children with diabetes.

According to governors, that is expected to be in place by September.



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