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Ontario Making Schools Safer for Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions

New Policy Requires Care Plan to Support Students

October 24, 2017

Ontario is making schools safer for students with prevalent medical conditions, by requiring school boards to provide individual care plans for these students to manage their daily medical needs.

Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, made the announcement today at Holy Name Catholic School in Toronto.

By next school year, all school boards across Ontario will be required to have policies in place to improve the safety of students with anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy. Boards will be required to provide students that have medical conditions with a plan of care, which outlines contacts and procedures tailored to the individual needs of the student.

The province has worked in collaboration with education partners and health-based organizations, including The Lung Association - Ontario, Asthma Canada, Food Allergy Canada, Epilepsy Ontario, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and Diabetes Canada. These partners have also assisted in developing educational resources that will support training for educators and help raise awareness about medical conditions in schools.

Supporting the physical health and well-being of students, educators and staff is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • The policy is known as PPM 161- Supporting Children and Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions (Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes, and/or Epilepsy) in Schools.
  • The ministry has also been consulting with teacher federations, education worker unions, principal associations, and school board leadership on the development of this PPM.
  • The ministry has supported Ophea, the Ontario Education Services Corporation, and health-based organizations to develop new, and adapt existing, resources to support school boards in implementing this PPM.
  • The Ministry of Education will continue to work with education partners, health organizations and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to build on this work and continue to strengthen supports for students with medical conditions in schools.

Additional Resources

Quotes

This is an important first step in supporting the well-being of students with medical conditions. This collaborative approach will bring all partners together — including The Lung Association – Ontario, Asthma Canada, Food Allergy Canada, Epilepsy Ontario and Diabetes Canada, the Ministries of Education and Health and Long-Term Care — so that student safety is prioritized.”

Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education

“The Prevalent Medical Conditions Policy Program Memorandum will support consistent implementation of Ryan's Law in all schools across Ontario, saving lives and providing parents with assurance their children will be safe in school.”

Vanessa Foran, President and CEO, Asthma Canada

“Having policies, individualized care plans and training for staff will help improve the situation for many students and their families. At the same time, there’s still more work to be done to ensure equitable support across Ontario, which is why Diabetes Canada will continue its advocacy role for children with diabetes.”

Russell Williams, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy of Diabetes Canada

“The new PPM provides a means to review and enhance key measures already in place through Sabrina’s Law for students at risk for anaphylaxis. It is an important step forward to further support the 138,000 students in Ontario with food allergies.”

Laurie Harada, Executive Director of Food Allergy Canada

“With approximately 1 in 5 kids living with asthma, we too easily forget that it can be a very dangerous disease, particularly for kids who don't have ready access to their inhalers. Ryan's Law was introduced to eliminate those gaps in support. Today's announcement is an important step further. By ensuring consistent school board policies across Ontario, including individual Plans of Care for students with asthma, we're making the aims of Ryan's Law a reality...raising awareness, strengthening supports for students, and saving lives.”

Peter Glazier, Vice President, Marketing, Development and Public Affairs, The Lung Association - Ontario 

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