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Letter to Gillian Keegan about the use of mobile phones in schools

We’ve written a letter to Gillian Keegan MP, Secretary of State for Education, asking her to make exemptions to the Government’s policy on banning mobile phones in schools. We thought you might like to read it.
4 October 2023

A young guy with type 1 diabetes dealing with exam stress and taking an exam

Dear Secretary of State,

I am writing to you following your announcement that the Government is looking to ban mobile phones in school.

Around thirty thousand children in the UK live with type 1 diabetes. Continuous glucose monitoring and insulin dosage is delivered, for the vast majority of these children, via their mobile phone.

Insulin is a hormone which the body needs in order to convert glucose from food into energy.  In type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin, meaning people need to administer insulin frequently at all times of day and night. A range of factors will cause potentially serious blood glucose highs and lows including food intake, exercise, tiredness, adrenaline.

Mobile phones are not just a form of communication for children living with type 1. Their phones are a lifesaving treatment device, recommended by the NHS and regulators to reduce potentially fatal high and low blood glucose spikes. They need their phones in exams, in the playground, in lessons, at lunch and during PE. There are agreed rules and processes to support children in all these circumstances.

Headline policies about banning mobile phones for children do not take into account advances in medical treatments and technologies, and blanket statements that offer little to no detail on exemptions can cause great consternation for parents and children with type 1.

I trust that such exemptions will be allowed and that you will make these known in due course.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Karen signature

Karen Addington
Chief Executive, JDRF, the Type 1 Diabetes Charity

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