1 in 200 students has epilepsy – it can affect their school performance
Epilepsy is one of the most misunderstood conditions in our community. The impact of epilepsy on a school student and their family is often far greater than the seizure itself.
Epilepsy can have a big impact on a child’s experience at school:
- Seizures and medication can make it hard for a child to concentrate or remember information from class, adversely affecting their school performance.
- Stigma and discrimination are still felt by many living with epilepsy today.
Every child’s experience of epilepsy is different, so supporting them at school requires an individualised whole school approach that involves the student with epilepsy, other students, teachers, staff, parents/guardians and the school community.
An Epilepsy Action Plan for Schools
Epilepsy Smart Schools helps schools better help students with epilepsy to reach their academic potential
An Epilepsy Smart School is one that embeds inclusive, safe and educationally sound practices for all primary, secondary and special school students living with epilepsy.
The programme develops an epilepsy action plan for schools and helps them better help students who have epilepsy to achieve their academic potential and develop positive social relationships.
Registration is free and easily commenced online. Once you’ve received your log-in details by email you can begin self-managing your school’s progress on the three-step programme. Some costs apply for Step 2.
See how an Epilepsy Smart School improved Ava’s daily school life and benefited her teacher and classmates
Benefits of being an Epilepsy Smart School
- Schools are able to provide a safe and inclusive environment for students living with epilepsy.
- Students are able to reach their academic potential.
- School staff better understand their state government policy requirements and expected teacher support of students living with epilepsy.
- Teaching standards are adhered to in relation to supporting all students in a safe and inclusive manner.
- Teachers have the opportunity to participate in continuing professional development.
- Schools play an important role in raising awareness of epilepsy within Tasmanian communities.
- Training provided will direct teaching practice to ensure the expectations of schools under the Disability Standards for Education 2005 are met.
Become an Epilepsy Smart School in three steps
√ Holding specific epilepsy management plans for each of your students with epilepsy
Schools must ensure that Epilepsy Management Plans (EMP) are held for each student living with epilepsy. And where emergency medication has been prescribed, a current Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP) must be in place. Once you have completed this step, all staff with a duty of care must complete Epilepsy and Emergency Medication training to administer emergency medication.
√ Participating in epilepsy specific training
Schools must be aware of the impact of epilepsy on the student. This step will give teachers an understanding of the psychological, social and cognitive impact of living with epilepsy and how this may affect a student in their classroom. This requirement can be met through completing Epilepsy and Emergency Medication training. This training will direct school staff teaching practice, ensuring the expectations of schools under the Disability Standards for Education 2005 are met. Schools can choose to complete this step online or have an Epilepsy Tasmania trainer visit in person – costs apply for this step.
√ Holding an event that promotes better awareness and understanding of epilepsy
Schools must educate the student body about epilepsy. This step can be completed using resources from this website, either through embedding epilepsy education within the curriculum (e.g. completing the Epilepsy Smart Quiz within health studies) or hosting an awareness-raising campaign, such as a purple day event.
Epilepsy Smart Schools is a national recognition to be proud of
Upon successful completion of the three-step programme, recognised Epilepsy Smart Schools are awarded a certificate to highlight their commitment to supporting all students with epilepsy, as well as access to promotional materials.
Read more: Download the Epilepsy Smart School Practical Guide (PDF 661KB)