Forum on Concussion in Sport and Physical Education
With incidents of concussion in sport hitting the headlines, and concerns about consistent management, many within the sports sector and Government came together to form the Forum on Concussion in Sport and Physical Education.
The Forum aims to raise awareness of the issue and support professionals, student, parents and volunteers to be better able to deal with incidents of concussion. Members include the Rugby Football Union, the Football Association, England and Wales Cricket Board, England Hockey, Rugby League, Association of Physical Education, Youth Sports Trust and Sport England, as well as representatives from government departments – Department for Education, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Department of Health.
Concussion guidelines for education settings
The Forum recognised that more support is needed for professionals working in schools and colleges to deal with incidents of concussion. In response, it produced Concussion guidelines for education settings.
The guidelines set out the importance of good management of concussion, how to recognise it, how to respond to it and how to ensure a child or young person returns safely to their education and sport.
The guidelines are not only supported by most of the largest national governing bodies of sport but are also approved by a panel of independent medical experts, as well as the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the Society of British Neurological Surgeons.
Emma Boggis Chief Executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance and Chair of the Forum said: “Concussion must be taken extremely seriously to safeguard the long-term health and welfare of children, young people and adults. The guidelines are based on a shared desire to help people identify and appropriately respond to incidents of concussion and we hope they will be welcomed and importantly acted upon.”
A Government spokesperson said: “Nothing is more important than keeping our children safe – and we trust teachers and coaches to provide a safe environment for their pupils on the sports field. We welcome these concussion guidelines for education settings which will be a valuable resource for schools and sports clubs.”
Mike England Community Rugby Medical Director, Rugby Football Union
“This has been a ground breaking initiative, with sport, education and health coming together to address a very important issue. We hope teachers will find these guidelines useful, as it is imperative that those working in the education sector know how to recognise concussion and take action. If I had pick out one key message it would be if in doubt sit them out.”
The Concussion guidelines for education settings refer to a 'graduated return to play', also known as GRTP, for pupils who have been concussed. You can find out more about GRTP in this Rugby Football Union 'Headcase' leaflet.
Other useful information that the guidelines draw on are:
• Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport, November 2012
• Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool
• Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 3
• Child Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 3
• Scottish Sports Concussion Guidance