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Sheffield schoolgirl with diabetes barred from trip

Schoolgirl Lucy Harrison, aged 12, who may be prevented from going on a school trip to Spain, because she has diabetes, is pictured with her dad Stephen Harrison.

Schoolgirl Lucy Harrison, aged 12, who may be prevented from going on a school trip to Spain, because she has diabetes, is pictured with her dad Stephen Harrison.

A disappointed schoolgirl from Sheffield has been told she cannot go on a trip with her classmates – because she suffers with diabetes.

Lucy Harrison’s family paid hundreds of pounds for her to enjoy the Spanish break with Forge Valley Community College in Stannington last year.

But her parents were called just days before the flight next Monday to say the 12-year-old could not go after all – because the school did not have the right insurance and staff were not allowed to administer medication to Lucy if she had a hypoglycemic attack.

Lucy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of five and takes regular insulin to regulate her blood sugar levels.

Angry dad Stephen Harrison, of Cox Place, Hillsborough, criticised the school’s decision and said his daughter had been left upset.

He said: “I just don’t think it is acceptable – it is so unfair.

“All her mates are going and Lucy said ‘Why can’t I when everybody else can?’

“I had to tell her it was because of her diabetes.

“This is discrimination.

“Isn’t it hard enough having to deal with diabetes and then be singled out saying she can’t go as though she is different to other children?

“The staff member said the school wasn’t insured and also they can’t touch Lucy if she has a hypoglycemic attack. All they can do is give her painkillers and a plaster.

“The risk assessment for this should have been done months ago, not nine days before the flight.

“It is ridiculous.”

Forge Valley offered to refund the family or cover half the cost of one parent travelling with Lucy on the five-day trip.

Staff have also arranged a meeting with Stephen tomorrow after The Star contacted the school.

Stephen, a former professional snooker player who now coaches youngsters, said he could not have taken the time off work to accompany Lucy at such short notice.

The 40-year-old said they were encouraging Lucy to cope with her condition.

He said: “Lucy is just getting to grips with her diabetes. We want her to be able to manage it independently.

“She can’t be the only person in school with diabetes so it is not just about her.

“The school should have a policy in place.”

Forge Valley school said it did not discuss individual pupils.

 

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