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Teachers support more first aid in schools

5 February 2009

First aid practice for young boy and girl - ShropshireJonathan Fuller-Rowell

New research has shown that a quarter of all UK secondary schools still don’t provide any first aid education, despite overwhelming support for its inclusion among teachers.

The research, published last week by the British Red Cross, shows that more than 84 per cent of secondary school teachers across the UK strongly believe first aid should be taught in schools. Yet despite this support, the research also highlighted that a quarter of all secondary schools in the UK still do not offer first aid education to students.

Basic first aid is already on the personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum in England and Wales, and the Red Cross is supporting its inclusion n the health and wellbeing outcomes for the Scottish curriculum.

Life-saving skills

Liz Brunwin, project manager for the Red Cross, said: "While the research shows a real enthusiasm from teachers to equip their students with life-saving skills, many schools still have not taken the necessary steps to get first aid into the classroom. Given that there are  potential plans to make the PSHE curriculum in England statutory, we would urge teachers to get ahead of the game.”

The latest poll was commissioned to explore teachers’ perceptions of both the new PSHE curriculum and the Red Cross’ Life. Live it. first aid education kit. The education kit – which includes an interactive CD-ROM, flexible lesson plans, PowerPoints and video clips – provides a fun and easy way to help students learn first aid basics.

First aid confidence

Liz continued: “We’ve designed our materials so that any teacher will have the confidence to use them, even if they are unfamiliar with the subject. Our message is that, of all the life skills you teach your students, this one may turn out to be the most vital."

Previous research shows that the UK is well behind other European countries in terms of first aid awareness. While 90 per cent of the Norwegian population is trained in first aid and 80 per cent of the Austrians and Germans, the UK trails far behind with only around seven per cent of its population trained.

First aid education kit for teachers

Free resources to help teach first aid

First aid on the curriculum

Learn first aid