Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures.
Seizures are bursts of electrical activity in the brain that temporarily affect how it works. They can cause a wide range of symptoms.
Epilepsy can start at any age, but usually starts either in childhood or in people over 60. It’s often lifelong, but can sometimes get slowly better over time.
The National Education Union (NEU) has useful advice for schools on how to deal with epilepsy and seizures in schools, including how to recognise when a pupil might be having a seizure.
Young Epilepsy has produced a free online guide for schools on supporting young people with epilepsy: www.youngepilepsy.org.uk/guideforschools
The guide includes information on seizure first aid, epilepsy’s impact on learning and behaviour and the key elements of support that should be in place at school, and template documents, including a policy on supporting pupils with medical conditions, an Individual Healthcare Plan (IHP) and a seizure record form.
The guide also features Young Epilepsy’s ABLE tool (Assessment of Behaviour and Learning in Epilepsy). This is a simple questionnaire for staff and parents to use to identify potential areas of concern.
Staff supporting children with long term medical conditions must have appropriate training to ensure they understand conditions such as epilepsy and the wider impact they can have.
For information on the training Young Epilepsy can provide to school staff and pupils, please visit http://www.youngepilepsy.org.uk/training
There is also online learning for schools and people with epilepsy and their families available from Epilepsy Action here: Available courses .