Tandridge schools lead the way for pupils with epilepsy
Twenty one schools across east Surrey and in mid Sussex are leading the way to a better future for pupils with epilepsy, thanks to an innovative pilot programme.
The School Epilepsy Champions initiative is aimed at raising awareness of epilepsy.
School staff have been given a day’s specialist training in epilepsy and its effects on young people – and how best to deal with it in the classroom to ensure all these young people reach their potential.
Better Futures Champions, they then return to their school and pass on the knowledge and best practice so that colleagues are better able to support pupils with the condition.
The project is run jointly by Young Epilepsy and the Tandridge Confederation.
It’s hoped the scheme will be rolled out across other schools in the UK and is part of a wider move by Young Epilepsy to campaign for better education and health services for all 60,000 under 18’s with epilepsy across the country.
Each primary school has on average one child with epilepsy and each secondary school around five pupils with the condition.
While Young Epilepsy is a strong supporter of inclusion (educating children with health conditions in mainstream schools), the charity believes that proper staff training is vital so that these pupils can be properly supported.
School staff fed back very positive comments about the training given by Young Epilepsy as part of the scheme.
I have learnt an enormous amount in one day. said one - and another commented
[This is] without doubt, knowledge everyone working with children should have.
Participants can also get expert follow-up support from Young Epilepsy helpline on 01342 831342 Mon-Fri 9AM-1PM.
Young Epilepsy’s Chief Executive, David Ford, said
Epilepsy isn’t just about the seizures that a child might have in class. The condition, and the drugs used to treat it, can have a real impact both on the learning and behaviour of pupils and on their self esteem.
The role of teachers and support staff is central to helping these young people. We are very keen to encourage other schools and local education authorities to put better training in place for staff, and better partnership working in place with Primary Care Trusts, to give young people with epilepsy a better deal.
Sarah Davison, Manager, Tandridge Confederation added:
As a Confederation we wanted to ensure that all staff working in our Schools and Children’s Centres in Tandridge were aware of the fantastic work that Young Epilepsy does in our Community and all over the country. We have already received tremendous support and learning opportunities by working together. As a result of this we have developed the opportunity for better training for our staff dealing with pupils with this condition. This pilot project is a common sense way of providing increased epilepsy awareness and training through a partnership approach.
List of schools which have Better Futures Champions following training in November 2009 and January 2010:
- Audley Primary School, Caterham
- Clifton Hill School, Caterham
- Downsway School, Oxted
- Hamsey Green Infant School Warlingham
- Hamsey Green Junior School, Warlingham
- Holland Junior School, Hurst Green
- Holy Trinity School, Crawley
- Hurst Green, School, Oxted
- Imberhorne School, East Grinstead
- Limpsfield Infant School
- Marden Lodge School, Caterham
- Moor House School, Oxted
- Nutfield School, Redhill
- St Catherine’s Primary, Bletchingley
- St Peter and St Paul Primary School, Caterham
- St Peter’s CE Infants School, Oxted
- Sunnydown School, Caterham
- Tatsfield Primary School
- Warlingham Village School
- Whyteleafe School
- Worth School, Crawley
Join in on Purple Day, March 26
Are you doing something for Purple Day?
Purple Day is an International Epilepsy Awareness Day thought up by 9 year old Cassidy Megan from Nova Scotia in Canada. It is a fun and really simple way to get involved with promoting epilepsy awareness so click on the pack icon below. In it you will find lots of ideas, information and inspiration to help you get going and paint the world purple!
Purple Pack (161KB)