1 in 200 students are living with epilepsy.
This means almost every Victorian school has or will have a student living with epilepsy enrolled at their school. Epilepsy is still one of the most misunderstood conditions in our community, beyond seizures, students can experience memory loss and poor concentration which can impact educational outcomes. In addition, students can feel isolated due the stigma of this condition.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Australia is the peak organisation in Victoria and NSW and is proud to announce the Epilepsy Smart Schools program www.epilepsysmartschools.org.au
This evidence-based program was developed to support schools to provide a safe and inclusive educational environment for students living with epilepsy.
“We think every school should be a recognised as “Epilepsy Smart” and be able to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for all enrolled students” Graeme Shears CEO of Epilepsy Foundation of Australia.
To become a recognised Epilepsy Smart School, schools must complete three important steps:
1. Demonstrate that the school supports any known student living with epilepsy.
2. Ensure all teachers with a duty of care have received epilepsy specific training.
3. Educate students about epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Smart Schools program will have a positive impact on everyone in school communities and seeks to create generational change through better understanding of epilepsy.
Parents want to know that their child is in safe hands, getting the best education they can and able to participate in all school and community activities. Teachers want to know that they can support all students within their class to participate fully to their ability. Training provided as part of the Epilepsy Smart Schools program allows these wants to be achieved.
A recognised Epilepsy Smart School is one that understands epilepsy and puts in place inclusive practices to support all students living with epilepsy achieve their academic potential and develop positive social relationships.
The Epilepsy Foundation has been working with the Victorian Department of Education to update their ‘Epilepsy and Seizure Policy’. The policy sets out the requirement that all government school staff with a duty of care for a student living with epilepsy MUST complete epilepsy specific training, which the Epilepsy Foundation provides. www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/health/pages/epilepsy.aspx
All pre-schools, primary schools and secondary schools are eligible to become recognised as an Epilepsy Smart School.
If you would like to learn more how your school can become a recognised Epilepsy Smart School, please visit the Epilepsy Smart Schools website www.epilepsysmartschools.org.au
Sunday 21 October 2018, The Walk for Epilepsy www.supportepilepsy.com.au
The Walk For Epilepsy (Princes Park, Carlton, Victoria) is a fun, family-friendly day with lots of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Join us in the Walk as No one with epilepsy should go it alone.