Call for all schools to give first aid lessons to pupils

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: St Joseph's School winning first aiders St Joseph's School winning first aiders

A MALMESBURY head teacher is calling on more of her colleagues to introduce life saving lessons in their schools.

Lizzie Christopher from St Joseph’s Primary School, which won first and second places in the regional round of a national first aid contest run by St John Ambulance, is backing the organisation’s Big First Aid Lesson.

“‘At St Joseph’s we feel that first aid is important because the children we teach might go on to save somebody’s life one day,” she said.

‘It absolutely should be on the National Curriculum but, while it isn’t, I would encourage my fellow headteachers to introduce first aid to the school day, if they haven’t already.”

She said the school was increasing its first aid training and would be setting aside a special day to make sure that every year group had some basic training, including how to make a 999 call.

“First aid is an invaluable, enjoyable life skill that the children at St Joseph’s love learning,” she added.

The campaign follows research showing that while 97 percent of teachers in the region think essential first aid skills should be learned at school only 22 percent of schools offer pupils training.

Lack of staff training, time and cost are all cited as reasons why the lessons are not offered.

St John Ambulance is urging schools not to wait until first aid is added to the National Curriculum because it says too many lives are already lost needlessly.

Jim Jones, regional training manager for St John Ambulance explained: ‘At St John Ambulance, we believe that first aid should be as much a part of growing up as learning to cross the road.

“It’s so easy to learn and can have such an incredible impact on people’s lives but, because it’s not compulsory on the national curriculum, only a minority of schoolchildren would know what to do if one of their classmates, or a member of their family became ill or injured.”

The Big First Aid Lesson is a webinar that will be streamed live to schools on June 20. It is aimed at pupils aged between seven and 16 and all schools need to take part is an internet connection and an interactive whiteboard.

Visit sja.org.uk/bigfirstaidlesson for more information.

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