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Department for Education Confirm First Aid will be Taught in Schools

The Department for Education have recently written to our First Aid and Medical Equipment manufacturers section to confirm that “from 2020 onwards, all state-funded schools in England will be required to teach first aid as part of health education. This will include basic first aid for primary school children, for example dealing with common injuries, such as head injuries. Pupils in secondary schools will be taught first aid. For example, how to administer CPR and the purpose of defibrillators”.

BHTA FAME section has been working in recent years with the many organisations concerned about First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in schools.

The British Red Cross, the British Heart Foundation and St John Ambulance all welcomed the way in which evidence about the issues was sought. It was clear that the teaching of first aid in schools could sit happily within PSHE.

It was shown that the teaching of first aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, as a mandatory component of statutory PSHE in both primary and secondary school, could be done in one hour a year, each year.

It is know that only 5% of adults feel knowledgeable or willing to act in an emergency and that up to 59% of pre-hospital deaths from injury could have been prevented with basic first aid.

More than 30,000 cardiac arrests occur out of hospital every year in the UK, and fewer than one in 10 people survive. If, however, we could match the survival rates found in parts of Norway, where CPR is routinely taught in secondary schools, then it would be possible to save around 5,000 lives per year in the UK.

Fewer than 1 in 10 people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK, but survival rates double in those countries where CPR is taught in schools.

BHTA Chairman Alastair Maxwell said, ” We very much welcome, the fact that the Government is to make health education compulsory in England. We understand that this will apply to all state funded schools, Academies and Free Schools from 2020, with voluntary teaching beginning this year.

BHTA will continue working with all other stakeholders to ensure that people have the necessary skills and most appropriate equipment.  If anyone  can share with BHTA, any information about plans for implementing policies about the teaching of first aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, in all types of school it would be really appreciated.