Education Bill

Memorandum submitted by St Aidan’s CE School (E 70)

1. St Aidan’s CE Primary is a primary in St Helens in Merseyside. We decided to teach Emergency Life Support (ELS) Skills in our school because children are not apprehensive over putting into practice things that they learn. The children in our school asked for this training and they are always very keen to attend courses.

2. ELS skills are the set of actions needed to keep someone alive until professional help arrives. They include performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), dealing with choking, serious bleeding and helping someone that may be having a heart attack.

3. St Aidan’s teaches ELS as part of the British Heart Foundation Heart start training scheme.

4. St Aidan's currently teaches ELS to 100 plus children aged 5-11 per year.

5. They are taught ELS for 30 hours per year as part of our extended schools provision and in treasure time during school hours.

6. St Aidan’s believes that ELS should be made a compulsory part of the National Curriculum in England because Children unlike adults will put what they have learnt into practice without hesitating, they absorb information easier than adults do and they are often more willing to learn new skills as well. Learning Basic first aid skill will and does save lives; it also gives the children a sense of responsibility and worth. We would like to encourage the Committee to amend the Education Bill to make this possible.

7. The children I have taught ELS to over the past 3 years have thoroughly enjoyed the training, a lot of them can relate to times when they could have used the skills in the past. They feel confident about what they have learnt. First aid is delivered during national sports week and we relate it to injuries received doing sport. Our years 6 pupils learn not just the heart start first aid package but also the St John youth package. On successfully completing the course they become first aid buddies on the playground and they act as first responders for our adult first aiders.

8. Children I have taught at my school have used their skills. Many of them tell me of minor incidents they have helped with or given advice to adults on. Last year a child in year 6 was in a restaurant with her parents and her brother. Her parents are both teachers and there was 15 other adults in the restaurant. Her brother who was 8 started to choke on his food. He went blue and virtually collapsed at the table. All of the adults stood around not knowing what to do. My year 6 child jumped up and put her first aid training to use. She delivered back blows until the food dislodged. This undoubtedly saved her brothers life and maybe if she hadn’t of been there the 15 adults (including his parents) may have been watching a little boy die in front of them.

9. The teachers love to stay in on our ELS lessons, they are always pleased at how their children have reacted in class, feedback over the following few days is good and most of the time they will comment on the fact that it had helped them to remember first aid skills.

10. If schools did not deliver first aid, very few children would get the opportunity to learn. Our school is passionate about children learning first aid skills and it would make it even more accessible to all children if ELS was part of every education establishment in the U.K.

March 2011