Frequently Asked Questions
Epilepsy is a medical condition that affects the brain and causes seizures. 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. 1 in 200 students live with epilepsy. This means every teacher is likely to teach a child with epilepsy during their career.
You can also contact your local Epilepsy organisation to speak to one of support staff. Our Australia – wide information and support line is available during business hours 1300 852 853.
1 in 200 students has epilepsy, in an average school of 600 students, you might expect 3-4 students will have epilepsy in each school.
It is likely every teacher will teach a student with epilepsy in their career.
Epilepsy can have a big impact on a child’s experience at school due to the impact of seizures and medication, making it hard for a child to concentrate or remember information from class. Epilepsy is more than seizures and first aid training is not enough.
Teachers need epilepsy-specific training. All schools have a duty of care to provide a safe learning environment for all students. Understanding epilepsy will assist teachers modify their training plans. This site also has come great resources for teachers and schools to support students with epilepsy.
Within the school community you may also find staff and, or parents may have epilepsy. Becoming a recognised Epilepsy Smart ensures your staff and school is educated to meet duty of care requirements as well as show the community that you provide a welcoming and supportive environment for all students.
Epilepsy Smart Schools is a comprehensive evidenced-based program designed to support students, teachers and the broader school community learn more about epilepsy.
Our program has been evaluated by Melbourne University. We are very proud of the support the Epilepsy Smart Schools provides for teachers who undertake our program.
First Aid training is focussed on responding to a emergency situation. Beyond seizures, epilepsy impacts, memory and concentration, which in turn will have an impact on student learning and well being. Our training extends beyond this to support teachers to understand how epilepsy may effect each student.
The Epilepsy Smart Schools is powered by Epilepsy Australia, and our Epilepsy partners in every Australian state and territory. Invest in R&D and pride ourselves in being part of the PEAK national collective and partner with global experts to design our training. We don’t recognise “other” Epilepsy training.
To become an Epilepsy Smart School, you must complete the evidence – based training which has been designed with Australian Schools as part of this program. We have designed a cost -effective program for schools, which is evidenced based and customised for every student’s needs’.
The Epilepsy Smart Schools program is wholistic an offers a range of comprehensive resources to ensure beyond seizure support that our recognised schools are Epilepsy Smart.
There are three steps to becoming a recognised Epilepsy Smart School:
- Identify all students in your school community who have epilepsy. Work with the parents/carers to ensure that each child has a current, individualised Epilepsy Management Plan and, if necessary, an Emergency Medication Management Plan, in place.
- Undertake our Epilepsy Smart Schools training program to ensure all teachers, nurses and other relevant staff are properly trained in understanding epilepsy and managing each child’s individual epilepsy.
- Undertake a Purple Day or other awareness raising activity in your school, or use our school resources in your curriculum to educate your school community about epilepsy, and to help creative a safe and inclusive environment for students living with epilepsy.
If you do not currently have any known students with epilepsy, you can still become an Epilepsy Smart School. Without any known students you won’t be required to complete step 1.
The requirements of becoming an Epilepsy Smart School for a school without known students with epilepsy is:
Step 2 – Complete this training module,
An Introduction to understanding and managing epilepsy – this 1hr module can be delivered on line or face to face. ( each teacher will receive a certificate and may be able to claim this towards CPD)
Step 3 – Raise Awareness about Epilepsy at your school Part of reducing stigma is to educate your school community about epilepsy. By raising awareness, your school can demonstrate that your school understands epilepsy and provides a welcoming environment for all students.
To complete step 3, you can use our online classroom activities to add to your curriculum, or many schools choose to hold a Purple Day activity to raise awareness
**Remember, not all students or parents will disclose that a child has epilepsy due to the stigma that still exists today.
You can ensure your staff are in a position to understand and manage a child’s epilepsy, and be ready for future students who have epilepsy, by undertaking the Epilepsy Smart Schools program.
By confirming on this website that you have completed all three steps (or two steps if you do not currently have a known child with epilepsy in your school), you will be able to print and download your Epilepsy Smart School Certificate of Recognition.
We will also post out to you a sticker that you can place in an appropriate place in your school to inform your community that you have completed the necessary steps and are, in fact, an Epilepsy Smart School. Your school will also have access to promotional material to show that you are a recognised Epilepsy Smart School.
You will have a Certificate of Recognition and a sticker to place in your school. We will also send you our Epilepsy Smart Schools three-tick logo, which you will be able to use on your letterhead, email footers, website and other marketing and promotional collateral.
We would also like to showcase that your school is #EpilepsySmart on our Hall of fame and encourage you to show your status through your own social media.