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Thursday 27th October 2016

First aid should be in curriculum

9th March 2009

The St John Ambulance charity has called for MPs to add first aid as an obligatory part of the school curriculum.


St John Ambulance surveyed 1,500 pupils in the UK in association with the Children's Forum and found that 69% reported they would not know what to do in an emergency situation.

First aid is taught as a compulsory lesson in Wales and Northern Ireland, but in England and Wales pupils can choose if they want to study the subject.

St John Ambulance said around 400,000 pupils suffer injuries every year at school and over 300,000 children have been instructed in how to perform first aid by the charity since 2007.

In the survey, 72% of primary and secondary pupils said they were keen to learn how to perform first aid.

Elaine Howlings, who co-ordinates school training for St John Ambulance, said children were clearly "scared by the fact that they would not know what to do" in an accident.

She said: "They wanted to be able to help - helping their friends when they fell off walls or swings, to seeing people that had been involved in car accidents, and one poor lad had actually witnessed a stabbing which was quite awful." 

The government said it intended to ensure pupils in England were taught the subject by 2011.


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