accessibility & help

Over 90 percent of students would like to learn first aid in school, says British Red Cross survey

15 February 2013

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Henry Makiwa 020 7877 7479 /
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Over 90 percent of students would like to learn first aid in school, says British Red Cross survey

More than 90 percent of secondary school students would like to learn first aid training in school; and would feel more confident helping a friend or family member needing first aid if they received the training, reveals an ICM poll commissioned by the British Red Cross published today.

The findings support the British Red Cross’ Pupil Citizen Lifesaver (PCL) campaign, launched today (15 February 2013), to promote the inclusion of first aid education in school curriculums.

The poll of secondary students across England and Wales reveals that:
- 94 percent would feel more confident to help a friend or family member needing first aid if they received training
- 91 percent of students would like to learn first aid in schools
- 67 percent agree that it would be easier to find a job if they received first aid training
- 66 percent are not currently confident that they could help someone who needs first aid

Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross’ head of first aid, said:
“These numbers should be a massive wake up call for each and every one of us: teachers, parents, politicians and the children themselves. First aid education must be more accessible in the classroom to build a generation of better citizens who possess life-saving skills.

“This research shows us that students have a strong desire to learn first aid, with 90 per cent of them registering interest to receive training in the classroom. Yet today, only 20 per cent say they have learned it in the classroom.  We urge parents and teachers alike to sign up to the Red Cross campaign to ensure that this essential life skill is included in the schools curriculums,” Mulligan explained.

The People Citizenship Lifesaver (PCL) campaign, calls for inclusion of first aid and humanitarian education in all schools across England and Wales. 

The British Red Cross is encouraging people to visit its webpage: to sign up a petition that will get the government to make first aid education mandatory in all schools across the country.

Already, the British Red Cross is working with over 30 000 education bodies, schools, teachers, and engaging politicians before the end of the schools curriculum review in April 2013.

Joe continued: “The Government’s proposals are now open to public consultation.  We have two months to shape the future lives of millions, by getting first aid into schools so every child can learn how save a life. Let’s all take action now.

“Our studies show that having first aid taught in the classroom helps make it second nature for students to respond to emergencies. Today’s education places emphasis on students’ examinations, but we would like to see children become better citizens as well.”

The British Red Cross provides schools and teachers with several free online, first aid and humanitarian education resources including the fortnightly lesson plans called newsthink. The material is currently subscribed to by over 30 000 teachers across the UK, reaching at least 300,000 children.




Notes to editors

- For first aid tips, photos, multimedia materials and spokespeople, please contact Henry Makiwa or 020 7877 7479

- Also find pics on this link, as well as here. Even more snaps are here. While a video with an embed code may be accessed here.

- Also see our People Citizenship Life Saver Campaign and resources at

- Our research and experience shows that with the right resources, teachers can teach first aid in classes, even if they are not trained.

- The British Red Cross has put together a teachers’ campaign pack, to help spread awareness with pupils, parents and the wider community of its aims to get first aid and humanitarian education on the curriculum. The pack includes ideas and resources on how they can support the campaign such as signing our e-petition and letter templates for students to write to their local MP on the issue.

- The British Red Cross are also sending a free DVD to every secondary school in the UK on 18th March, to teach students first aid for alcohol related incidents.

British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on  with their lives.