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Call for mandatory asthma training in schools after fatal attack


Asthma UK is calling for teachers to be given mandatory asthma training after an 11-year-old boy died following an asthma attack at school. An inquest into the child’s death concluded that failure of staff to act quickly contributed to the death.

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Neil Churchill, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, said: “This tragic event reinforces the urgent need for mandatory asthma training as part of teacher training, including ongoing assessment and we will be pursuing this vital requirement with Governments across the UK”.

Asthma UK provides resources, including a tool for school nurses to deliver awareness sessions on asthma, and a policy pack for medical conditions at school.


Readers' comments (5)

  • My son has unstable Asthma, but thankfully control is improving, he started school at 4 and a week last year. I am fearful for the possibility of a serious attack going un-noticed and him being found collapsed. I pray for him to grow up so that he is more aware of his own symptoms and can at least alert others yo how he feals. All to often we are fobbed off by schools / nursery that asthma is not a problem, because when he is at his worst he is not fit to be there.

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  • Martin Gray

    Ignoring a child that is complaining of difficulty breathing is unforgivable. This child must have been in obvious difficulty and action should have been taken much sooner - it's common sense surely!

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  • i actually wrote to a government health minister a few years ago highlighting the lack of teacher awareness (around asthma) and the health of children under their responsibility.

    i recieved a short reply informing me that it was not financially viable to train up all teachers in these matters.

    As we all know human life unfortunately does have a price tag above which it is economically unviable.....sad but soooooo true!

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  • School nurses are well placed to deliver asthma awareness sessions in schools. However some schools do not find asthma a concern or see the need for any training. Unfortunately this sad case may make them think otherwise.

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  • I offered training sessions to a number of local schools at the request of several Health Visitors and School nurses. I was told that the teachers would not be covered to administer nor treat the children even if they had the training. I also offered anaphylaxis training sessions as a number of children in the area have serious food / bee venom allergies and carry epipens, this was taken up by one school only in the Derby area, but admittedly all the teachers , classroom assistants and lunchtime supervisors gave up their time to attend the workshop.

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