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London epilepsy guide for schools

This document is intended to enable schools to manage children and young people with epilepsy effectively in an early years or school setting. Recommendations and guidelines contained within are derived from clinical practices and from contributions from stakeholders across London.

The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced a legal duty on schools to look after children with medical conditions. Schools must make arrangements to support pupils at school with medical conditions and understand what they are required to provide. For epilepsy this involves making sure staff are trained how to manage seizures, guaranteeing equality of access and ensuring inclusion for opportunities provided during school activities. School governing bodies have a duty to ensure that these arrangements are in place.

Summary of recommendations

  • Every child with epilepsy should have an individual healthcare plan. This should include what to do in the event of a seizure (and especially prolonged seizures), as well as other tailored advice for that individual young person.
  • Children and young people should be supported throughout their education, recognising the impact that epilepsy has on learning, behaviour, mental health and wellbeing.
  • Prompt identification of learning and behaviour needs in children with epilepsy is vital.
  • Each school should have an up-to-date medical conditions policy.
  • Children and young people with epilepsy should have appropriate supervision depending on their individual needs.
  • Children under five need consideration of 1:1 support at school (in the absence of a parent). This may need an education health care plan to support and may need funding. Primary school aged children and young people (6 years+) require support to manage their epilepsy in school in line with the Children and Families Act 2014. In secondary school, students will be largely independent but may require intermittent support.

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