Skip to main content

Epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent seizures originating in the brain as a result of excessive or disordered discharge of brain cells.

Most children with epilepsy attend mainstream schools and do not require any additional provision, aside from special consideration or understanding. Some children with severe epilepsy may need to attend a special school which has full time medical support.

Coping with epilepsy at school

Epilepsy does not have any bearing on intelligence, although epilepsy may be an additional aspect of learning or physical difficulties. However children with epilepsy can have problems with memory, processing speed, attention and concentration.

Some epilepsy medications have side-effects that affect learning, including hyperactivity, drowsiness, memory problems, and difficulty in concentrating. 

Choosing a mainstream school for a child with epilepsy

You need to feel confident that a school can provide any medical support necessary, and will make adjustments so that your child is not disadvantaged in his or her learning.  Aspects you should consider are:

  • Has the school trained all staff, including supply teachers and playground staff, in how to respond to a seizure, and do they clearly understand when it represents a medical emergency?
  • Do they have a staff member trained to give emergency medicine, if necessary?
  • Will they ensure that your child can take part in off-site visits, after school clubs, residential trips etc?  And how would they risk assess for these?
  • If you think some activities may put your child at risk of seizures, how would they address this? For example, will they provide one-to-one support for swimming? How would they manage chemistry experiments?
  • If your child has known side effects which have an impact in the classroom, such as problems with concentration or behaviour, how will they deal with this?
  • If stress is a trigger for your child, how would the school support your child during exams?
  • What other help can they offer during exams, for example rest breaks, or allowing pupils to take exams at a different time if seizures typically occur at a particular part of the day?
  • What help will they give your child to contend with learning lost during absence seizures?
  • If there are physical aspects to the classroom which could trigger seizures, will the school make adjustments?

 

Most popular Good Schools Guide articles


  • Special educational needs introduction

    Need help? Perhaps you suspect your child has some learning difficulty and you would like advice on what you should do. Or perhaps it is becoming clear that your child's current school is not working for him or her, and you need help to find a mainstream school which has better SEN provision, or to find a special school which will best cater for your child's area of need. Our SEN consultancy team advises on both special schools, and the mainstream schools with good SEN support, from reception through to the specialist colleges for 19+. Special Educational Needs Index

  • Finding a state grammar school

      There are currently around 163 state funded grammar schools located in 36 English local authorities, with around 167,000 pupils between them. There are a further 69 grammar schools in Northern Ireland, but none in Wales or Scotland. Almost half of these are in what are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston, with only a few grammar schools. How to find a state grammar school Word of warning: not all selective grammar schools have…

  • The Good Schools Guide online subscription

    Find the best school for your child. One month subscription - £0.49 per day Three month subscription - £0.41 per day Six month subscription - £0.33 per day One year subscription - £0.29 per day Register for instant access to: ☑ Search for more than 30,000 schools in our parent friendly interactive directory. ☑ Create and save lists of schools via My Schools. ☑ Use our comparison grid to get exam results overview of schools you are interested in. ☑ Find comprehensive advice on state and independent schools, tutors and special needs. ☑ Catchment maps for English state schools by…

  • Schools for children with performing arts talents

    As proud parents, we all know our children are unique. They're smarter than anyone else's, funnier, certainly more attractive, better behaved and above all bursting with the kind of talent that would leave Daniel Radcliffe or Charlotte Church standing. And sometimes, just sometimes, parental pride is justified.

  • Uni in the USA... and beyond

    The British guide to great universities from Harvard to Hong Kong. We tell you how to choose, how to apply, how to pay. Why study in the US? Ask the US-UK Fulbright Commission... Ask the US-UK Fulbright Commission who report that you're in good company: the US is the top destination for international students worldwide.  In fact, over 11,000 British students chose the States for their studies last year. Read more Scholarships for International Students Here's where you click to receive our giant pdf on US university scholarships for international students, covering how to find financial aid and how... Read more Can I afford it? America might proclaim…


Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews:

30,000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent-friendly interactive directory
 Instant access to in-depth UK school reviews
 Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of over 1,000 schools
 Independent tutor company reviews

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark

The Good Schools Guide subscription

GSG Blog >    In the news >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

The Good Schools Guide Newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.

Monopoly Money

 
 

The Good Schools Guide 22nd edition is out now, and for a limited time get a one month free subscription with any purchase of The Good Schools Guide 22nd, or The Good Schools Guide to London.