By Breanna Taylor
Epilepsy Australia is encouraging Australian schools to learn training and procedures to help the needs of students with epilepsy after the events of Purple Day on 26 March.
Preps at Berwick Primary donned purple on Tuesday to help fundraise for Epilepsy Australia and raise awareness of the condition that affects 1 in 200 Australian students. The primary school makes up a small 5% of schools nation- wide that has received epilepsy specific training.
Prep students wore an item of purple and came to school with a gold coin donation.
Principal, Kaye Seton, says that having students touched by epilepsy really prompted the decision for the school to partake in the smart schools program. “It is something that is really important and this is a condition that is life threatening so we needed to have appropriate training and advertise symptoms across the school,” she said.
The three key factors in being recognised as a smart school is having a specific management plan in place, receiving adequate training and promoting awareness about the condition.
Berwick Primary has supported the Epilepsy Foundation for the last two years since the program and have previously worn purple and sold merchandise for fundraising.
National President of Epilepsy Australia, Wendy Groot, says it is urgent that schools jump aboard the smart schools program and educate themselves on how to care for those suffering with epilepsy and exercise their duty of care under the Australian Government’s Disability Standards for Education.
“It is incredibly important that we see a change in the number of schools that are Epilepsy Smart. If a student has epilepsy, more than 95 percent of schools would not be equipped to understand and modify education strategies, which is simply not good enough.”
Epilepsy can be an extremely debilitating condition for students and can make them face many obstacles including not being able to participate in activities and camps, missing school days, seizures and mood swings due to medication.
Like Berwick Primary, Epilepsy Australia is encouraging all schools nation-wide to adopt the smart schools program to ensure an inclusive and safe environment for all students living with epilepsy.