Those involved in school or college sport have a very important role in the prevention and management of concussion as they are in a unique position:
- They have a statutory duty of care to their students
- They have regular, sometimes daily, contact with their players
- The setting allows and supports opportunities for wider education around rugby and other sports
- Teachers and lecturers are key influencers of their students' attitudes and behaviour
- The setting should allow for the detection of missed concussions, including those occurring outside of the establishment, through the impact on educational activities
- The setting allows for monitoring of concussed players’ recovery
- Some have employed or contracted health care professionals on site
Concussions can occur in many situations in the school environment; any time that a student’s head comes into contact with a hard object such as the floor or a desk, or another student’s body. The potential is probably greatest during activities where collisions can occur such as in the playground, during sport and PE. The nature of rugby means that concussion can occur in training and in matches.
Students may also get concussion when playing rugby or other activities out of school but come to school with the symptoms and signs. It is important that these situations are recognised, as the concussion can affect their academic performance and/or behaviour, as well as putting them at risk of more serious consequences if they sustain another concussion before recovery.
1. Concussion must be taken extremely seriously to safeguard the safety and long term health of young players.
2. Players suspected of having concussion must be removed from play and must not resume play in the same match.
3. All players suspected of having concussion must be medically assessed.
4. Players suspected of having concussion or diagnosed with concussion must go through a Graduated Return to Play protocol (GRTP).
5. Players must be reviewed by a doctor before returning to play.
It is important that teachers communicate with parents and clubs (where appropriate) to ensure that there is a joined up approach to supporting a player’s return to play following a suspected concussion.
Age Grade Management Guidelines
The Age Grade Management Guidelines provide information on how to recognise a suspected concussion and manage the return to play appropriately.
General information on concussion and the HEADCASE programme click here.
Concussion Guidelines for the Education Sector
The RFU work closely with other sports and organisation to ensure that guidance is aligned. The Association for Physical Education (AfPE) have developed general concussion guidelines for the education sector. Click here.
HEADCASE Online Awareness Module
The free online HEADCASE Teacher concussion education module explains what concussion is, how it happens and what teachers (and the school) can do to help their players avoid injury and return safely to learning and playing following a concussion.
The HEADCASE modules can be accessed on the HEADCASE homepage.
Schools are encouraged to use the HEADCASE animation video with their pupils, it provides easy to understand information on concussion and how they should be managed.
To request the video as a wmv or mp4 file (to use when off line) please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Concussion doesn’t just happen in sports such as rugby, they occur in streets and in school playgrounds every day.
Rugby is a contact sport and whilst it is impossible to remove the risk of concussion completely there are a number of measures that can be put in place to markedly reduce the risk and prevent concussions occurring in the first place.
Those responsible for organising age grade rugby activity in schools and colleges play a key role in helping to prevent concussion and other injuries from occurring. For more information on how concussion can be prevented please visit the age grade rugby concussion prevention page.
There are a number of HEADCASE resources which are available for schools and colleges to utilise to increase awareness and understanding of concussion.