UK Children To Be Taught CPR And Basic First Aid Skills In Schools

Updated: Jul 19, 2019

Schools in the UK will teach students CPR and basic first aid from 2020.

In the UK around 30,000 people a year go into cardiac arrest outside of hospital and of those fewer than 10 percent survive, Sky News reports.

However, studies have shown that in countries where children are taught CPR in schools, those survival rates double.

Many adults complain that the things they learned at school - algebra, wives of Henry VIII and the elements of the periodic table - aren't particularly useful in 'real life' and argue that kids should be equipped with more practical information.

Well, it doesn't get much more useful than learning CPR and basic life-saving skills, does it?

The move has been welcomed by the British Heart Foundation, which said it was a 'decisive moment in the battle to improve cardiac arrest survival rates'.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: "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.

"That's why we took the decision to include health education alongside relationship education for primary school children and relationship and sex education for secondary children.

"These subjects are a crucial part of our work to ensure children learn the wider skills they need to flourish in the modern world."

The aim is to ensure that by the time they leave school all pupils will be able to carry out CPR, provide basic treatments for common injuries and know the purpose of a defibrillator.

Speaking about the plans, Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: "The DfE's plans are a decisive moment in the battle to improve cardiac arrest survival rates, following years of campaigning by the BHF and others.

"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."

The government has said it will become compulsory for schools to teach by 2020 but is offering support for any schools that want to sign up this year.

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