Why should your school become an Epilepsy Smart School?
The Epilepsy Smart Schools program has been developed to support students, teachers and schools.
All schools have a duty of care to provide a safe learning environment for all students and ensure they accommodate the needs of all students.
Epilepsy can have a big impact on a child’s experience at school due to the impact of seizures and any medication they may be taking, making it hard for a child to concentrate or remember information from class. Epilepsy is more than just seizures and first aid training is not enough. There are over 60 different types of epilepsy and everyone’s experience with seizures is different.
Teachers, and anyone with a duty of care within the school, need to understand the impact of epilepsy on student learning, as well as having epilepsy-specific training in understanding and managing epilepsy.
Click to learn more about specific Australian Government policy as well as State Government requirements.
What is epilepsy?
1 in 200 students has epilepsy. This means every teacher is likely to teach a child with epilepsy during their career.
Epilepsy is a medical condition that affects the brain and causes seizures. Everyone’s brain sends electrical messages to their body, which tell the body what to do. Seizures happen because of a disruption to electrical activity in the brain, leading to a change in a person’s movement, behaviour, level of awareness and/or feelings.
How to become an Epilepsy Smart School
To become an Epilepsy Smart School, a school must:
- Ensure each student with epilepsy has a current Epilepsy Management Plan and, if required, an Emergency Medication Management Plan
- Complete epilepsy education for all staff, as well as training for staff with a duty of care in the administration of emergency medication, if relevant to a specific child’s needs
- Help reduce stigma and increase understanding by holding an awareness-raising or curriculum-based activity.
Each student with epilepsy should have an Epilepsy Management Plan (EMP). Where emergency medication may be required, a current Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP) should be in place.
What if our school does not have any students with epilepsy?
If you do not currently have any known students with epilepsy, you can still become an Epilepsy Smart School by undertaking education to better understand epilepsy and holding an awareness-raising event or curriculum-based activity in your school.
All teachers with a duty of care need to have an understanding of epilepsy and Epilepsy Management Plans (EMP) and, where required, training for the application of emergency medication.
- Teaching staff will need to complete An Introduction to Understanding and Managing Epilepsy
- If you have a student enrolled who has an Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP), identified staff will also need to complete Administration of Emergency Medication Part 1 and Part 2.
Part of reducing stigma is to educate the student body about epilepsy. You can access our online resources to add to your curriculum, or simply take part in a Make March Purple activity to raise awareness. You can do this by:
- REGISTER to take part in a Make March Purple activity
- USE our classroom resources.
How will you be recognised?
Once you have completed the process of becoming an Epilepsy Smart School, contact your local epilepsy service provider to request an Epilepsy Smart Schools certificate. You can display this for parents, students and visitors to let them know that your school has an environment where students with epilepsy are safe and not alone. Your school will also have access to promotional material to show you are a recognised Epilepsy Smart School.