Epilepsy Smart Schools

What is an Epilepsy Smart School?
Epilepsy Awareness
Educating others about epilepsy
Epilepsy and Emergency Medication training
Learning Environment
Inclusion
Epilepsy Plans
School Registration
What is an Epilepsy Smart School?

An Epilepsy Smart School is one that understands epilepsy and puts in place inclusive practices to support a student with epilepsy to achieve their academic potential and develop positive social relationships. It takes a whole school approach working with the student with epilepsy, other students, teachers, staff, parents/guardians and the school community.

Broadly, there are three key goals for schools to achieve:

  • Where school staff are aware of a student with an epilepsy diagnosis, a current Epilepsy Management Plan (EMP) is held. Additionally for those students living with epilepsy who have been prescribed emergency medication, a current Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP) is held.
  • School staff understand the possible impact of epilepsy on students, ideally through participating in training. Where a student has an EMMP, all school staff with a duty of care responsibility for that student have received student specific epilepsy training.
  • School staff educate students about epilepsy using resources from the Epilepsy Smart Schools website (with the agreement of the student with epilepsy and their family where appropriate) either through embedding education within curriculum or a school supported awareness raising campaign.

This website is based on the Epilepsy Smart Schools Practical Guide 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 assist your school to support students with epilepsy.

The Epilepsy Foundation operates an Information Line 1300 761 487 accessible Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. The Information Line is staffed by allied health professionals with expertise in epilepsy and how  it may affect a student’s health, wellbeing, and school engagement. If at any time you have a question about a student with epilepsy please call us. Due to Privacy Laws any information provided can only be of a generic nature unless a signed Consent to Release Information has been provided to us.

Epilepsy Awareness

An Epilepsy Smart School ensures that:

  • Parents/guardians who have a student who is transitioning into primary school/secondary school/special school or between schools, utilise the Transition Checklist.
  • A Student Health Support Plan is developed in consultation between the school and parent/guardian as required.
  • Clear communication pathways are documented between home and school, relating to seizure frequency and any learning, health or social concerns.
  • Teachers complete epilepsy training that includes an understanding of the impact of epilepsy on the student.
  • Students with epilepsy are supported (when consent has been gained and it is appropriate) to educate peers about their epilepsy.
  • Teachers have current First Aid and CPR training.
  • Risks are managed appropriately especially as it relates to individually supervision for students with epilepsy during water activities at all times.

Refer the Victorian Department of Education and Training’s Epilepsy Policy for further information.

Transition Checklist
This is a families resource and is included here for schools so that school staff can support families prepare for transition into primary, secondary or special schools. This practical resources provides a checklist for parents/guardians to consider prior to their child moving into primary, secondary or special schools or when moving schools.

Children with epilepsy: a teacher’s resource
A brief summary document that accompanies epilepsy training sessions.

Seizure First Aid Poster

A First Aid poster for A4 or A3 printing and display in your school.

Educating others about epilepsy

Presentations
These online resources will support the student with epilepsy to educate their peers about epilepsy. Teachers may also use the presentations themself to instruct their class.

All about us all about others (Years 1-4) (external link)
Tuning into our Diversity (Years 5-8) (external link)

Epilepsy Smart Postcard
These A5 postcards accompany the diversity presentations, and are a great summary of what epilepsy is. It also encourages students to take the Epilepsy Smart online quiz. A limited number of these postcards are available in hardcopy. To request a supply for your school (Victorian schools only) please Contact us.

Epilepsy Smart Quiz
This quick quiz can be done online, and when successfully completed, a certificate with the student’s name is printed.

Peer Educator Program
The main goal of the Peer Educator Program is for peer educators to learn about epilepsy and the impacts it can have on individuals and their families. Then using our Prezi presentations educate other students about epilepsy.

The program strives to educate all students to recognise and value diversity in themselves and others.

The program could readily align to:

  • Leadership Programs
  • Student School Council (S.R.C)
  • Values Programs
  • Buddies Programs
  • ADVANCE Program
  • Duke of Edinburgh Awards
  • V.C.A.L

Click here to access all the Peer Educator Program resources.

Purple Day Activities
There are many classroom activities that can support you in educating your class about epilepsy. They are particularly useful during the month of March, which aligns to Purple Day.

Recommended reading list for children

The Epilepsy Foundation believes that reading is important, when a child learns to read and then reads to learn they expand their understanding exponentially. The world becomes less scary, the unknown becomes known. They learn that they are not alone. This reading list is filled with books that have been selected as suitable reading for children of all ages. The books cover a range of subjects related to living with epilepsy, enabling the child to learn about epilepsy through stories that they can relate to.

Epilepsy and Emergency Medication training

Professional Development for school staff
The Epilepsy Foundation provides professional development to schools across Victoria. Our nurses also provide training in the administration of emergency medications (midazolam or rectal diazapam), when it is prescribed.

The Victorian Department of Education and Training’s Epilepsy Policy outlines the training requirements for school staff.

 

Epilepsy Smart School: Lions Grant Program

The Epilepsy Foundation works with local Lions Clubs who provide Epilepsy Smart School grants to schools.

The grant covers the cost of training for schools where they may not otherwise be able to engage in the training.

The Epilepsy Smart School: Lions Grants Program is a new value based alignment between Lions Clubs and the Epilepsy Foundation, stay tuned for news of grant offerings in your school region.

To register your interest in accessing an Epilepsy Smart School grant please email smartschools@epilepsyfoundation.org.au.

Learning Environment

An Epilepsy Smart School recognises that:

  • Some students may need additional:
    • individualised support around learning, especially around memory, attention, thinking skills or behaviour
    • special consideration during exams and tests (most commonly additional reading time, additional breaks)
    • social support
  • Parents/guardians should be consulted if learning or social issues arise, and rechgnises that either the parent or teacher can initiate a learning conversation
  • When Individual Learning Plans and Student Support Groups are initiated that parents/guardians should be actively engaged in these meetings

The Victorian Department of Education and Training’s Epilepsy Policy provides further information on learning support.

Student Individual Learning Plan (ILP) template

This resource is designed for teacher use, however family input is important.

The ILP is an interactive pdf document. A sample plan is also available.

Learning conversations about epilepsy: a parent and teacher’s resource
This practical resource will help parents/guardians and teachers work  together to better understand what the possible learning implications may be for the student with epilepsy.

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 the student, and ensure that:

  • Consultation with the parent/guardian and where appropriate, the student, occurs with regard to risk management for day-to-day school requirements, excursions, camps and other school activities
  • All risk assessments are based on each student’s unique circumstances
  • Reasonable adjustments are made in order to enable the student with epilepsy to attend excursions, camps and other school activities
  • Parents are not required to attend school to administer medication, provide medical support or in-class/excursion support
  • Parents understand their rights in relation to inclusive schools
  • Students involved in workplace placements are supported to understand the implications of disclosure

The Victorian Department of Education and Training’s Epilepsy Policy outlines further considerations for inclusive practices.

Risk – a  balanced approach
This A3 resource provides a suggested student-centred approach when considering risk.

Disclosing your epilepsy – to get the job done
This is a student resource and is included here for teachers so that you can support your student with epilepsy as he/she embarks on a work placement. This practical resource will guide your student 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 OOO.

  • The Epilepsy Foundation, 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 OOO.

  • The Epilepsy Foundation 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.

The Victorian Department of Education and Training’s Epilepsy Policy outlines the documentation required.

Epilepsy Management Plans (EMP) and Emergency Medication Management Plans (EMMP)
Templates for both plans and supporting guidelines for completion are available on the Epilepsy Foundation website.

 

School Registration

Great, you have made your way here! follow the link below to register as an Epilepsy Smart School.

Program benefits

What are the benefits of being an Epilepsy Smart School?

  • You are promoting a safe and inclusive environment for students living with epilepsy.
  • Your students are able to reach their academic potential.
  • School staff will have a better understanding of the Victorian Department of Education and Training’s Epilepsy Policy and the expectations of teachers in supporting a student living with epilepsy. For schools located outside Victoria please refer to the applicable state or territory Education Department for further information.
  • Teacher standards are being adhered to in relation to supporting all students in a safe and inclusive manner.
  • Teachers will have the opportunity to participate in continuing professional development.
  • Your school has the opportunity to play an important part in raising epilepsy awareness.

Program requirements

Broadly, there are three key goals for schools to achieve, once you have achieved these goals your school will receive recognition as an Epilepsy Smart School:

1. School staff understand the possible impact of epilepsy on students, ideally through participating in training. Where a student has an EMMP, all school staff with a duty of care responsibility for that student have received student specific epilepsy training.

2. Where school staff are aware of a student with an epilepsy diagnosis, a current Epilepsy Management Plan (EMP) is held. Additionally for those students living with epilepsy who have been prescribed emergency medication, a current Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP) is held.

3. School staff educate students about epilepsy using resources from the Epilepsy Smart Schools website (with the agreement of the student with epilepsy and their family where appropriate) either through embedding education within curriculum or a school supported awareness raising campaign.

Register online for free today. Once registered you will receive a program log in and password by email so that you can self-manage your Epilepsy Smart School registration and progress.

Epilepsy Smart Schools Program

An Epilepsy Smart School is one that understands epilepsy and puts in place inclusive practices to support a student with epilepsy to achieve their academic potential and develop positive social relationships. It takes a whole school approach working with the student with epilepsy, other students, teachers, staff, parents/guardians and the school community.

Register online to commence recording your progress against the three key goals to becoming an Epilepsy Smart School. On completion of the three steps you will have access to your schools Certificate of Recognition and supporting badges which you can use to showcase your achievement in becoming an Epilepsy Smart School.

How was your experience today?