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Barnton school wins national award for supporting pupils with epilepsy

Recognition for Barnton Community Primary during National Epilepsy Week

Epilepsy Action representative Chantal Spittles is pictured with Jenson King, six and the award(Image: Victoria Tetley / VJT Photography)

A Barnton school and nursery has once again been crowned winner of an Epilepsy Action education award for its work in supporting pupils with epilepsy.

Barnton Community Nursery and Primary School was presented with its ‘Edward’ award by Epilepsy Action trustee Mike Harnor on Friday, May 19 as part of National Epilepsy Week May 14-20.

The annual Edwards awards celebrate the nation’s epilepsy education superstars.

They are presented by UK-wide charity Epilepsy Action to nurseries, schools, colleges and universities who have gone above and beyond in supporting students or pupils with epilepsy.

Barnton Community Nursery and Primary School was chosen as a winner for the second year running because of its work with siblings Jenson, William and Darcie who have epilepsy.

From left are Jenson King, six, teacher Sam Rutter, assistant head Deb Stewart, teacher Janis Shaw and William King, four(Image: Victoria Tetley / VJT Photography)

Jenson, aged six, has absence seizures on a regular basis, as well as tonic clonic, focal and atonic seizures.

William, three, not only has absence, partial and tonic clonic seizures but also pica, an eating disorder which makes him crave non-food substances.

This means he needs constant support and supervision.

Their sister Darcie, two, has had 170 possible seizures and is undergoing tests to diagnose epilepsy.

She goes vacant and experiences partial episodes where she shakes.

Staff are dedicated to ensuring all three siblings can overcome these hurdles.

They work to make sure they are happy, able to learn and thriving like other pupils – both in and out of the classroom.

Both the nursery and school excel in communicating with their parents to talk through and record any issues or concerns.

Assistant headteacher Deb Stewart is pictured with Darcie King, two, and the award(Image: Victoria Tetley / VJT Photography)

The boys’ epilepsy specialist nurse gives staff regular training on how to deal with their seizures.

There are plans in place to care for other pupils, should they have an epileptic seizure.

All of the King children are able to participate in every school activity.

Recently, Jenson was able to go away on a residential trip with the rest of his class.

The staff worked hard to communicate with the family and plan before the trip.

Staff also help other pupils understand more about epilepsy and how it affects Jenson, William and Darcie.

The school held a special event again in March this year for Purple Day, a global day for epilepsy, to raise further awareness among staff and pupils.

The children’s mum Rachael King nominated the school. She said: “I just think this school and staff are one in a million. Nothing is too much trouble and they are always there to listen if I have any worries. The children have so many daily challenges they have to face and having the support of the school is priceless. I cannot thank them enough and I want them to know just how grateful my husband Ben and I are.”

Chief executive of Epilepsy Action Philip Lee added: “It’s an honour to present Barnton Community Nursery and Primary school with an Edward in honour of the fantastic work they have done to support Jenson, William and Darcie. Epilepsy Action works with education professionals so that the correct provision and support can be put in place for children and young people with epilepsy. Our ambition is to ensure that all children and young people with epilepsy are able to reach their full potential.”

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