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Emergency Life Support Skills

Volume 541: debated on Monday 27 February 2012

3. What steps his Department is taking to promote the teaching of emergency life support skills in schools. (96385)

Through non-statutory personal, social, health and economic education, at primary school pupils are taught about basic emergency procedures and where to get help; and at secondary school, about how to develop the skills to cope with emergency situations that require basic first aid procedures, including, at key stage 4, resuscitation techniques. As my hon. Friend knows, we are reviewing PSHE education to consider the core knowledge that young people should have, and we will publish proposals for public consultation later this year.

There has been significant support for the British Heart Foundation’s campaign for emergency life support skills to be included in the curriculum. Many people have called for it to be included in physical education, but what consideration has the Minister given to the merits of teaching it in biology?

My hon. Friend raises a good point. This is something of a personal interest for him, and I pay tribute to him for raising it in this House and in his constituency, where only this week he launched a “Save a Life by Volunteers in Emergencies” scheme for pupils. Our aim, through the review of the national curriculum, is to ensure that the school science curriculum, including biology, is focused on teaching pupils core essential scientific knowledge and about scientific processes, so I do not think that it would necessarily be most appropriate in that context, but it is sensible and helpful for schools to want to teach it to their pupils, and Ofsted will pick up on it as well.