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First aid CPR added to national curriculum

The historic announcement sees CPR and first aid added to the curriculum as part of wider Health Education classes

Further information

First Aid including CPR is being added to the National Curriculum in a landmark decision which could save thousands of lives.

The historic announcement sees CPR and first aid added to the curriculum as part of wider Health Education classes.

Secondary school pupils will be taught both CPR and first aid, while primary school pupils will be taught basic first aid.

The British Heart Foundation says the move could transform survival rates from out of hospital cardiac arrests, potentially saving thousands of lives.

The survival rates for cardiac arrests outside of hospital are shockingly low in the UK - with less than 1 in 10 surviving.

BHF Chief Executive, Simon Gillespie, says evidence suggests “nearly 1 in 4 could survive if all young people are trained with life saving CPR skills”.

The announcement follows years of tireless campaigning to get first aid and CPR onto the curriculum.

The British Heart foundation partnered with St John Ambulance and British Red Cross, as part of the Every Child a Lifesaver coalition - pushing for CPR to be taught in schools.

Simon added: “Adding CPR to the curriculum in England will mark a defining moment in improving the UK’s shockingly low survival rates from cardiac arrests.

“The government’s announcement sends a clear message that they are committed to empowering young people with life saving skills they will take in to adulthood. This historic move will transform cardiac arrest survival rates in the years to come.”

Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive at St John Ambulance, said: "We at St John's Ambulance are delighted with the government's announcement that they intend to make First Aid education mandatory for primary and secondary pupils.

"Lives will be saved and young people will benefit from developing skills that will build their character and strengthen community resilience.

"Young People in our nation are heroes in disguise. At St John's Ambulance we have over a hundred years of training young people in First Aid and we know that providing them with these skills enables them to grow as people and if ever the moment comes where their skills are needed, they are able to rise to the challenge."

According to the Every Child a Lifesaver campaign, 95% want their children to be taught first aid and CPR in schools.

Show your support

A public consultation on the updated guidelines has been launched, which will allow members of the public to comment on the plans before they are finalised.

Deadline to have your say: 7 November 2018

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