Epilepsy Smart Schools

What is an Epilepsy Smart School?
Epilepsy Awareness
Learning Environment
Inclusion
Epilepsy Plans
What is an Epilepsy Smart School?

An Epilepsy Smart School is one that understands epilepsy and puts in place inclusive practices to support your child to achieve their academic potential and develop positive social relationships.

As a parent/guardian you want to know that your child is in safe hands, is getting the best education he/she can and is able to participate in all school and community activities to the best of his/her capabilities. This website provides information and tools to facilitate family and school discussions and planning which will provide a strong foundation to support your child throughout his/her school years. We encourage you to go through the resources and tools available on this website and discuss your child’s learning and support needs openly with your child’s school.

This website is based on the Epilepsy Smart Schools Practical Guide (PDF 661KB) which provides information on how a school can embed inclusive, safe and educationally sound practices for students with epilepsy and in so doing become ‘epilepsy smart’.

The tabs on the side of each page will take you through the different sections of the Practical Guide, giving you further information and access to resources to support your child.

If at any time you have a question about your child’s epilepsy please contact the Epilepsy Australia Information Line on 1300 852 853.

Epilepsy Awareness

An Epilepsy Smart School ensures that:

  • You have access to support, when your child is transitioning into primary school/secondary school/special school or between schools
  • You are consulted when developing a student health support plan for your child.
  • There is clear communication and documentation of discussions between home and school, especially as it relates to your child’s seizure frequency and any learning, health or social concerns.
  • Teachers are trained to support your child at school, and if prescribed to administer emergency medication.
  • Your child is supported (when consent has been gained and it is appropriate) to educate peers about their epilepsy.
  • That risks are managed appropriately especially as it relates to individually supervision for students with epilepsy during water activities at all times.

Your local Epilepsy Australia member organisation may hold special events and family training sessions.

 

Transition Checklist

The Transition Checklist (PDF 1247KB) provides a checklist for parents/guardians to consider prior to their child moving into primary, secondary or special schools.

Learning Environment

Schools are responsible for making reasonable adjustments in the classroom related to your child’s seizure activity or attendance at medical appointments, this may include:

  • Development of a Student Individual Learning Plan (PDF 295KB). Refer Student Individual Learning Plan sample (PDF 364KB)
  • Setup of a support group for the student
  • Adjustment of assessment tasks related to time or reasonable expectations in group work
  • Examination adjustments related to increased reading time, breaks or identified trigger considerations
  • Engagement of specialist services such as neuropsychologists, psychologists, occupational therapists or speech pathologists

Refer to your state or territory government policy to find out more about health, wellbeing, learning and assessment adjustments supported in your state or territory.

 

Learning conversations about epilepsy: a parent and teacher’s resource

The Learning conversations about epilepsy (PDF 457KB) will help parents/guardians and teachers work together to better understand what the possible learning implications may be for your child with epilepsy.

Student Individual Learning Plan (ILP)

The Student Individual Learning Plan (PDF 295KB) is designed for teacher use, however families may find it useful to review this document to increase their understanding of what an ILP looks like and why family input is important.

The ILP is an interactive pdf document. Refer Student Individual Learning Plan sample (PDF 364KB)

Inclusion

An Epilepsy Smart School understands that all students, not just those with epilepsy, face risks in the classroom, in the yard and on camps/excursions. For students with epilepsy, risk should be balanced between what’s important to and for your child.

Students with epilepsy can generally participate fully in school life, including camps, excursions and special events. However, your child’s Epilepsy Management Plan (EMP) may highlight some additional supports that could be needed for certain activities. You may need to work with your child’s school to develop a Risk Management Plan for these activities.

Key questions to consider when developing the plan include:

• What sort of seizures does your child have?
• Does your child lose consciousness during the seizure?
• Does your child get a warning before a seizure?
• Are there any known seizure triggers?
• How well controlled are the seizures?
• What sort of support is required during and following a seizure?
• What type of supervision may be required for a camp, excursion or special event?
• How do you and your child feel about going on a camp, excursion or special event?

Because the diagnosis of epilepsy can be complex and evolving, communication between schools and family is important to inform diagnosis and treatment as well as to ensure that your child’s needs are identified and met.

A good communication strategy would follow the Learning conversations about epilepsy (PDF 457KB) guide and include:

  • identification of the key staff member for the family to liaise with
  • documentation of seizure occurrences via communication books, seizure diary, emails or text messages

Refer to your state or territory government policy for further information on the inclusive practice requirements in your state or territory.

 

Inclusive schools: Your rights and responsibilities in education

The Inclusive Schools: Your rights and responsibilities in education  (PDF 3MB) online resource provides guidance to common inclusion questions with accompanying practical strategies and approaches to managing risk.

This interactive resource is designed to be read online, and has active links to additional resources and information.

Disclosing your epilepsy – to get the job done

Disclosing your epilepsy – to get the job done (PDF 827KB) is a student resource and is included here for parents/guardians so that you can support your child as he/she embarks on a work placement. This practical resource will guide your child through the considerations and implications involved in disclosing their epilepsy within a ‘need-when-how’ framework.

Epilepsy Plans

An Epilepsy Smart School will hold the appropriate documentation for any student with epilepsy, this includes:

Epilepsy Management Plan (EMP)

The EMP documents the student with epilepsy’s seizure description and what to do in the event of a seizure, the impact of seizures on the student and the post seizure support required. The EMP also identifies whether emergency medication has been prescribed and when to call 000.

  • Epilepsy: Know me, support me – EMP template is used
  • The plan is current and updated yearly, having been endorsed by the doctor
  • All relevant school staff have ready access to the student’s EMP

Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP)

Where emergency medication has been prescribed for a student with epilepsy, the EMMP is the schools authority for a trained person to administer the emergency medication in the event of a seizure requiring an emergency response. The EMMP also provides information on when to call 000.

  • Epilepsy: Know me, support me – EMMP (midazolam or rectal diazepam) template is used
  • The EMMP is completed and endorsed by the doctor prescribing the medication and updated annually
  • The EMMP is attached to the EMP and is readily available to all trained school staff

School staff are trained based on the individual requirements documented in these plans.

Refer to your state or territory government policy to find out more about health and wellbeing documentation and specific training requirement for school staff in your state or territory.

 

Epilepsy Management Plans (EMP) and Emergency Medication Management Plans (EMMP)

 

Epilepsy Management Plan

There are five Epilepsy Management Plan templates available, choose a suitable plan depending on the number of seizure types your child experiences.

Epilepsy Management Plan – 1 seizure type (Word doc 412kb)

Epilepsy Management Plan – 2 seizure types (Word doc 416kb)

Epilepsy Management Plan – 3 seizure types (Word doc 422kb)

Epilepsy Management Plan – 4 seizure types (Word doc 427kb)

Epilepsy Management Plan – 5 seizure types (Word doc 431kb)

Download the EMP Guidelines (PDF 390kb) for instructions on how to complete the management plans.

 

Emergency Medication Management Plans

These documents detail the instructions on how to safely administer the emergency medications where prescribed by your child’s doctor.

EMMP – Midazolam (Word doc 122kb)

EMMP – Rectal Valium (Word doc 117kb)

These plans must be completed and signed by the treating doctor.

Download guidelines for instructions on how to complete the EMMP.

EMMP Guidelines Midazolam (PDF 230kb)

EMMP Guidelines Rectal Valium (PDF 163kb)

Only persons trained in the administration of emergency medication should implement these plans.

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