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Individual Healthcare Plans

Guide for schools

Every young person with epilepsy in school should have an Individual Healthcare Plan (IHP). This page covers what an IHP should include to enable the young person to be fully supported in school and the benefits of having one in place.

What is an individual healthcare plan? 

Every young person with epilepsy in school should have an Individual Healthcare Plan (IHP), setting out information about their condition and the support they need to be safe and included at school. 

The IHP should describe their seizures, how their condition is best managed, and the impact it has on their learning and behaviour, including any anti-seizure medication side effects. A clear emergency protocol must also be included, including when an ambulance should be called.  

Download our template Individual Healthcare Plan by clicking here

The IHP should be developed jointly between the school, the young person, their parents or carers, and healthcare professionals. The responsibility for its implementation remains with the school and the IHP should clearly set out who will deliver which aspects of support. 

As epilepsy can be a fluctuating condition, IHPs should be reviewed annually, or sooner if circumstances have changed. Parents should be reminded to keep the school informed of any changes in seizure activity, medication or behaviour. 

An IHP is needed even if a young person’s seizures are currently controlled by treatment, because seizures may reoccur and epilepsy may still be having an impact on the young person’s learning and behaviour. 

What should an IHP include? 

As a minimum, an IHP should include: 

  • The young person’s epilepsy diagnosis 
  • A brief description of their seizure type(s) and any signs that a seizure might be about to occur
  • Any known seizure triggers relevant to the young person
  • Basic management of seizures/seizure first aid including any follow-up care needed 
  • Current medication, including dosage 
  • Emergency protocol
  • Impact on learning and behaviour (utilising the ABLE Tool
  • Circumstances that call for additional consideration / risk assessment 
  • Reasonable adjustments required, including in the physical environment, curriculum, exams, etc. 
  • Additional training required, which may include administration of emergency medication 
  • Written permission from the parents and headteacher for any medication to be administered during the school day / school activities 
  • Communication protocol – who needs to know about the young person’s epilepsy and what they need to know 
  • Contact information

    What are the benefits of an IHP?

    A good seizure description can help everyone to recognise what happens to that young person and is much more useful than just the name of the seizure type(s). It can also help staff recognise when emergency procedures need to be followed.

    If the young person has more than one type of seizure, different medical management may be needed for each seizure and this can be clearly shown on the IHP.

    An IHP can provide clear instructions on how parents should be informed about a seizure and when staff should follow emergency procedures.

    Once a good seizure description has been incorporated in the IHP, school staff can be more aware of what to look out for and what needs to be recorded.

    Accurate eye witness accounts can be given to the young person's medical team via the parents and this provides useful information that may influence treatments.

    Comparisons with previous seizures enable changes to be identified which may indicate the need for medication to be revised.

    When school staff, the young person and their parents or carers have agreed what needs to be done, and this is set out clearly in the IHP, everyone can feel more confident about the young person's safety and inclusion in all school activities.

    The increased confidence of the school staff will also extend to the class peers, encouraging them to include the young person with epilepsy in their social groups.

    All school staff will be aware of the young person’s condition and know what to do if they have a seizure. They’ll also understand the impact epilepsy has on the young person and the strategies in place to support them. 

    The school should record any changes in the young person’s learning, academic achievement, emotions and/or behaviour, and share this information with their parents or carers. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know whether such changes are due to seizures, anti-seizure medication or ongoing brain activity. They may indicate a change in the young person’s epilepsy that requires further investigation by their medical team and, possibly, changes in their treatment.

    Also in this section of the guide

    Communication & information sharing

    Communication and information sharing are essential to supporting a young person with epilepsy, keeping them safe and including them in all school activities.

    Training & awareness

    All staff working with a young person with epilepsy should be trained to ensure they understand the young person’s condition and its impact on their life.

    Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

    Other sections of the guide that may be of interest

    Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

    About seizures

    Information about seizure types, triggers, first aid, treatments, records, and emergency medication for schools

    Young Epilepsy Guide for Schools

    UK legal frameworks

    An overview of the different laws and systems in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales