All pupils should learn CPR says education secretary


Every school child should have access to CPR teaching at school as it could potentially save lives, education secretary Damian Hinds has said.

Mr Hinds has revealed he wants every child to have access to the “knowledge and skills they need to keep themselves safe and to help others”.

The government is set to make the teaching of lifesaving skills compulsory in state-funded schools by 2020 as part of health, sex and relationships education.

Should the proposals be adopted, pupils will end secondary school education with the knowledge of how to administer CPR, an understanding of defibrillators and rudimentary treatments for common injuries.

Developing key skills and knowledge

Mr Hinds said he noted the need for CPR education while at university, adding that pupils from other nations knew the process whereas he did not.

“Learning the basic skills of first aid and techniques like CPR will give young people the confidence to know that they can step in to help someone else in need and in the most extreme cases – it could potentially save a life,” he explained.

As a result, he said the government has taken the decision to include aspects of health education as part of the regular curriculum teachings.

“These subjects are a crucial part of our work to ensure children learn the wider skills they need to flourish in the modern world,” Mr Hinds added.

Schools will be encouraged to teach CPR schools from September this year, with the government set to make teaching it compulsory from September 2020.

‘A decisive moment’

The British Heart Foundation has welcomed the government’s proposals, with the charity’s chief executive Simon Gillespie describing the move as “a decisive moment in the battle to improve cardiac arrest survival rates”.

He added that providing people with the skills to step into emergency situations could help to prevent needless deaths.

“Introducing CPR lessons into health education in all state-funded secondary schools is a significant step that promises to improve the odds of survival for countless people who have a cardiac arrest in the future,” Mr Gillespie said.