First aid must be taught in school

It’s hard to believe that 95% of UK adults recently admitted that they wouldn’t know how to give life-saving first aid to someone who was unresponsive and not breathing or who was bleeding heavily. But the stark findings serve only to confirm what we believe at St John Ambulance: that first aid should be taught to every child in school. The Huffington Post reports.

Through the many wonderful stories I hear every year, I know that children make very capable lifesavers and I know what they learn at school stays with them for life. And yet at the moment, less than a quarter of secondary schools are teaching first aid and 60% of children have no first aid training at all through their school lives. It’s no wonder, then, that adults are telling us that they’re not confident in dealing with life and death situations such as those described above. 

Every Child a Lifesaver

We’ve now been given a rare chance to persuade the Government to make first aid a compulsory part of the school curriculum – and I’m asking parents, young people, teachers and members of the public for some urgent support.

 Through the Every Child a Lifesaver campaign – run by St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and the British Heart Foundation – I’m calling for children and young people to receive at least one hour’s age-appropriate first aid tuition each school year.

Just before Christmas, the Department for Education launched an online consultation asking for people’s opinions on the future of the subject known as PSHE, which stands for Personal, Social, Health and Economic and RSE, Religious and Sexual Education.

These are currently non-compulsory subjects but the Government is thinking about making all or part of them compulsory from 2019. St John Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation and the British Red Cross are now campaigning for first aid to be included as a compulsory part within the revised PSHE curriculum.

We’ve submitted our response but now need as many people as possible to back us by answering two to three questions in the online survey – which closes on February 12th – so there’s no time to lose.

We know from own survey, in 2016, that 80% of people believe first aid should be taught in school. That’s why I’m asking supporters to visit our webpage without delay to find out more about the Every Child a Lifesaver coalition and take part in the Government’s call for evidence here:

Read more First aid must be taught in school

Do you think first aid should be added to the revised PSHE curriculum? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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