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Mum of epilepsy boy told: your son needs school for disabled
A 14-YEAR-OLD boy was told he should move to a special school for severely disabled children because he had epilepsy.
Now his mum Nicola Lee is supporting a national campaign calling for schools to offer more support for children with the condition.
Nicola of Bournemouth, says her son Lewis had numerous problems over the years with schools not understanding how to deal with epilepsy.
“Lewis spent a lot of time in hospital so missed school for months at a time,” she said.
“We found several schools unhelpful in working with hospital tutors, which led to problems with his education. There have also been issues with his care plan not being followed by the school.
“We were told at the time that Lewis should go to a special school for severely disabled children. It made us feel terrible.
“He only has epilepsy – no further complications. All we wanted was for him to get help to catch up with the rest of his class.”
Lewis now attends Portchester School, a mainstream school for boys in Bournemouth, where he is said to be “thriving”.
Executive head teacher Debbie Godfrey-Phaure told the Echo: “We pride ourselves on being an all inclusive community so we work closely with the parents to ensure that we meet each child’s particular needs.”
Nicola adds: “Epilepsy affects everyone differently and it’s so important that schools have the correct procedures in place. I wouldn’t want other families to have the same problems as we’ve had which is why we are supporting the National Epilepsy Campaign.”
The campaign which runs until Saturday, was launched by UK charity Epilepsy Action, as part of National Epilepsy Week.
It follows a survey by the charity which revealed that children with epilepsy are not being fully supported in many schools.
Less than 40 per cent of schools have a written epilepsy policy and almost a third were not aware that pupils with epilepsy may be entitled to receive extra time in exams.
Leanne Creighton, for Epilepsy Action, said: “It is vital that children and young people with epilepsy receive support at school to enable them to reach their full potential.
“There are simple steps and procedures schools can put in place to help pupils with epilepsy. We hope teachers will take note of these.”
Affects 1 in 220
Epilepsy affects around 1,600 people in Bournemouth. On average, one in 220 of these will be under 18.
On average, there will be one child with epilepsy in every primary school and five in every secondary school.
Epilepsy Action offers training to schools in how to support pupils with epilepsy. For more information, visit epilepsy.org.uk.