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What are the first aid requirements for schools?

Health and safety law demands schools have appropriate training and facilities to administer first aid.

When it comes to schools, it is the employers’ responsibility to ensure appropriate policies are in place for all staff, pupils, and contractors on site.

If the school is a local-authority maintained school, this responsibility falls to the local council.

And when it comes to voluntary-aided schools, it is the governing body, and with academies the trustees.

The headteacher is responsible for putting governing body’s policy into practice.

Teachers’ conditions of employment do not include giving first aid, although staff members can request training.

The minimum requirement is an appointed person must take charge of the first aid arrangements.

The school’s assessment should identify the number of appointed persons needed. Arrangements should be made to ensure cover is available at all times while people are on school premises.

While there is no mandatory number of first-aiders required on site at any one time, schools have a responsibility to assess the risks and the needs. Generally, schools will try to ensure they have as many first aiders as possible.

There also may be more first-aid equipped members of staff on duty at specific times – such as breaks, and lunches.

Trained first aiders have to undertake specific training approved by the Health and Safety Executive – which can cost around £300.

These do not necessarily include resuscitation procedures for children, and schools have a legal obligation to arrange any required further training.

Standard training includes dealing with wounds and bleeding, shock, anaphylaxis, and choking.

Certificates are only valid for three years so schools need to ensure staff receive regular, ongoing training.

Any accident to pupils or visitors must be immediately reported to the Health and Safety Executive if the person requires hospital treatment or there is a fatality.

In an emergency, the member of staff in charge should have procedures for contacting the child’s parent/guardian/named contact as soon as possible.
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