Concussion Management

  • All of Brighton Grammar School’s policies are intended to be up to date and be consistent with all relevant laws.
  • All members of the School Community are expected to comply with all applicable policies.
  • Various parts of the policies require managers and staff to exercise discretion and the policies are not intended to be applied in a legalistic or prescriptive manner.
  • These policies may be varied by Brighton Grammar School from time to time, in its absolute discretion.
  • The policies do not form part of an employee’s contract of employment.


Brighton Grammar School is committed to taking all reasonable action to manage the health and safety of students and staff members should they become ill or injured. This Policy outlines the requirements and processes to be implemented should a student or staff member (referred to hereafter as “student”) receives a knock to the head and show signs of possible concussion during the course of activities undertaken at Brighton Grammar in particular a BGS sporting activity.
This policy has been adopted from the “AFL Research Board – AFL Medical Officers’ Association – The Management of Concussion in Australian Football” Guidelines.
In best practice management of head knocks and suspected concussion in sport, the critical element remains the welfare of the student, both in the short and long term.


Concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury, refers to a head injury with a temporary loss of brain function. Concussion can cause an array of physical, cognitive and demonstrative symptoms. As the changes are temporary, the majority of people recover completely if managed correctly.

Signs and symptoms of suspected concussion


If there is concern after an injury, including whether ANY of the following signs are observed or complaints are reported, then the player should be safely and immediately removed from play/game/activity and an ambulance should be called.

Loss of consciousness or suspected LOC Seizure or Convulsion
Amnesia/Temporary memory loss Pressure in head/ headache (severe or increasing)
Neck pain or tenderness Nausea or vomiting
Dizziness/light headed Blurred or double vision
Balance problems Sensitivity to light and/or noise
Slowed down, feeling sluggish, tired or low energy Confused
Irritable, restless, emotional, agitated or combative Nervous or anxious
Weakness or tingling/burning in arms or legs Deteriorating conscious state

Requirements for head knocks during general school activities or in the playground

All head knocks, whether in the classroom, playground or during as sporting activity must always be treated as a serious injury.
Students who receive a knock to the head during school hours must present to the Student Health Officer for further assessment and monitoring. Parents must always be contacted in the event of a head injury.

Requirements for head knocks during sporting activities

Complications or ongoing symptoms of concussion can occur if the student is returned to play before they have recovered from their concussion. For this reason any student with suspected concussion must be withdrawn from playing and/or training immediately. Furthermore, a student with suspected concussion should not be returned to training, play or school for the designated timeframes and without medical clearance.

Management of head injury is difficult for non-medical personnel. In the early stages it is often not clear whether you are dealing with a concussion or there is more severe underlying structural head injury.

Therefore, ALL students with suspected concussion need an urgent medical assessment.

The key components of management of concussion include:

  1. Careful monitoring of any student with symptoms such as confusion or headache after a knock to the head;
  2. Referring the student for medical evaluation; and
  3. Ensuring the student has received medical clearance before allowing them to return to school, sport or physical activity at school.

Head injuries out of school hours (during club sport activities or at home)

It is the responsibility of parents to advise the school if a student has sustained a knock to the head out of school hours, in particular if it has resulted in concussion. This must be communicated on the first school day after the event (whether the student has returned to school or not). Students cannot return to school without a Medical clearance and a management plan done in consultation with the Student Health Officer.

Teachers have a duty of care to pass any information received by parents regarding out of school hours head knocks to the Student Health Officer immediately for further follow up.

Management during school hours

NOTE: If a student has been knocked unconscious or loss of consciousness suspected due to a head knock, an ambulance is to be called immediately to expedite evaluation by medical staff.

Management – After School/Weekend APS Sport

NOTE: If a student has been knocked unconscious or loss of consciousness suspected due to a head knock, an ambulance is to be called immediately to expedite evaluation by medical staff.

Informing Key Staff Members

Year Level Coordinator for sport, Sports Administration office and Student Health Officers must be informed of all significant head knocks, suspected concussion and confirmed concussion during school sport or training.

The Teacher in Charge of Sport (for sport related injury) or Student Health Officer (for non-sport related head injury) will notify the following staff members of the incident by completing a Risk Wizard Report as soon as practicably possible, inform of any management plan in place and any follow up required:

• The Headmaster
• The Head of School
• Chief Operating Officer
• Business Manager
• The Director of Sport (SS) or Sports Coordinator (JS); and
• The Head of House and tutor group teacher (SS) or Form Teacher (JS).

Follow up Management – return to school or play

Head injuries, particularly in children and adolescents must be managed immediately and correctly in order to try to prevent any further brain trauma. Restriction of physical and cognitive activity (rest) is the primary intervention of concussion following a head injury.

The Student Health Officer will provide follow up support and liaise with the Parents on behalf of the school after a head injury that has occurred during school time or BGS sporting events. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to inform the school in writing if an injury has occurred outside of any school programs so correct monitoring and management can be implemented.

The Student Health Officer will update all School’s medical records and Risk Wizard where necessary.

Return to School
Following a concussion, a student should not return to school until they provide a doctor’s medical clearance.

Return to Sport
The BGS concussion return to sport guidelines are modelled on the AFL concussion policy and the SMJFL guidelines.

Every sport played at Brighton Grammar must adhere to the BGS concussion return to sport requirements within this policy regardless of the sport they play.

Any student who has suspected or confirmed concussion will not be able to return to school/study without a medical clearance from the GP, Sports Doctor or Neurologist. 

For any student participating in Rugby, exclusion from training or play is 19 days in line with the ‘Rugby Australia Concussion procedure’.

ALL suspected or confirmed concussion cases in all sports except Rugby, training without a full medical clearance from a medical practitioner (GP, Sports Doctor of Neurologist) and will not be permitted to participate in a match for minimum of
12 days after the initial injury, once they are symptom free and have completed at least 1 full training session.

If symptoms persist or re occur after the 12 days then a follow up medical clearance will be required.

BGS will always take a cautious and conservative approach to return to play which may involve a graduated return and increase in activity over a few days or weeks. This will be undertaken in full consultation with the player and his parents as well as in conjunction with any medical recommendations.