Call for Albany schools to become Epilepsy Smart

Albany Advertiser
Epilespy WA chief executive Emma Buitendag.
Camera IconEpilespy WA chief executive Emma Buitendag.

The head of Epilepsy WA says no schools in the Albany area have signed up to become epilepsy smart despite more than 30 other WA regional and remote schools being on the path to accreditation in 2020.

The Epilepsy Smart Schools program is being rolled out across the State to educate teachers and students.

Epilepsy WA chief executive Emma Buitendag, pictured, said about one in 200 students had epilepsy, a condition which involved more than seizures.

Students could also experience fatigue, memory loss and heightened emotional stress.

“First-aid training is a good start but it’s no longer enough support as there are 40 different types of seizures and schoolchildren face daily challenges with learning and studying,” Mrs Buitendag said.

“Teachers require epilepsy-specific training to understand and meet the ongoing needs of students to help them thrive at school — adapting teaching methods to be more inclusive and effective.”

Epilepsy WA runs a dedicated Epilepsy Smart Schools portal which enables training via live video link for regional and remote schools.

To get accreditation, schools are supported as they develop a management plan to support students, ensure teachers receive epilepsy-specific training and educate all students about the condition.

The Epilepsy Smart Schools website also has resources for all students, teachers and parents.


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