Education Secretary Damian Hinds adds first aid and CPR to school curriculum

Posted On: 
3rd January 2019

Children as young as five will be taught basic first aid under plans to revamp health education, Damian Hinds has announced.

The move has been welcomed by the chair of the Health Select Committee
Credit: 
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The Education Secretary said youngsters will also be shown CPR from the age of 11 as part of the new “life-saving skills” scheme to be rolled out in England next year.

He pointed to cases which have seen kids “keeping a cool head, phoning the emergency services and helping to save someone’s life” as evidence of how important it is to train up youngsters.

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Children will be taught how to call 999 and deal with common injuries, including head injuries, as soon as they start at primary school.

By the time they leave secondary school they will have been taught how to administer CPR and use a defibrillator. Survival rates for cardiac arrests double in countries where CPR is taught in schools.

Mr Hinds said: “On arriving at university I was struck that the American students I met knew how to do CPR - and I didn't have a clue.

“As a father I want my children to have the knowledge and skills they need to keep themselves safe and help others, and as Education Secretary I want that for every child.”

He added: “We hear these incredible stories about children acting with confidence in an emergency – keeping a cool head, phoning the emergency services and helping to save someone’s life. I think that all children should be given these skills and feel this confidence.”

Robert Halfon, the Tory chair of the Health Select Committee, said: “It is a great idea - I suspect not enough people at work, let alone children, know these skills.”