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This month we’ve chosen the education sector as our consultancy focus and answer a number of regularly asked questions on topics including medication, first aid and working at height

First Aid Training in schools – what do we need?

The provision of first aid training in the education setting is sometimes confusing.  Schools have duties to members of staff, children and others and there are a wide range of courses available, some of which include paediatric first aid and some that don’t.

First Aid Regulations are primarily aimed at staff however in practice it’s more common for children to become injured or unwell.  Below is a brief summary of the most popular type of course available, we’ve also tried to answer a number of frequently asked questions:

Emergency First Aid at Work

A one day course for lower risk environments, whilst reference is made to infant and child CPR and choking, common childhood illnesses and injuries will not be covered on this course, for full details click here

First Aid at Work

A three day course for medium to higher risk environments and/or those employing large numbers of staff, again little reference is made to children, for full details click here

Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid (PFA)

A two day course aimed at those working with children who need to meet OFSTED requirements, including the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).  This qualification is also suitable for the wider primary school environment as it cover a wide range of childhood illnesses and injuries, for full details click here

Bespoke Training

In lower risk environments, a bespoke training course covering both adult and paediatric first aid often compliments a Level Three PFA qualification, and in our experience is most suitable for other staff members requiring training as well as complying with an employer’s statutory duties

Medication training in schools – what are we allowed to store and administer?

All schools should have a written Medication Policy that’s regularly reviewed and updated.  Irrespective of where the policy originated from it must be up to date and reflect medication practice within the school environment.

In our experience this isn’t always the case and the way in which medication is handled and administered doesn’t always reflect policy, nor do policies always align themselves to Department for Education guidance.  You can click here for access to the latest DfE guidance.

Updating polices is usually a straight forward process and ensures that schools and their staff team comply with their statutory duties and best practice.  This also keeps children safe and ensures they receive the right medication, at the right time.

Supporting pupils requiring moving and handling in the school environment – where do we start?

Children with a wide variety of physical disabilities attend schools, colleges and nurseries on a daily basis, some of whom will require support transferring from transport, around the general environment and on trips and outings.  We’ve shared our responses to a few FAQ’s below:

Should staff members be trained?

Yes. Staff members undertaking moving and handling should receive appropriate training.  In some cases a child’s Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or School Nurse can assist or advice from an external provider sought.  We’d always advise face to face, practical training

Will we need to review our fire safety practices?

If the child concerned is accessing classrooms and activities on a first floor, you’ll need to consider evacuation in an emergency.  In some cases activities can easily be relocated, if not the procedure for evacuating along the same level, use of refuge areas and means of final exit from the building must be considered.  This is the responsibility of the ‘responsible person’ and not the fire brigade.  Start by completing a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)

Are we allowed to manually lift a child?

Whilst it is not illegal to lift, the law requires employers to AVOID manually handling, ASSESS the risk involved and REDUCE them to the lowest level.

A written risk assessment, using a TILE approach should be undertaken, which in turn will help inform how a child is supported. Again the child’s OT, Physiotherapist and specialist handling advisors can help with or offer comment on this.

For further information on any of the above including practical advice, comment on policy and accessing the right type of training, please contact us on 0117 958 2070 or e-mail