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Teach children first aid but don’t let schooling suffer, says MP

LOCALMP David Warburton has voiced his support for teaching first aid to children, but admitted he has reservations about adding it to the curriculum.

The Frome and Somerton MP’s comments came ahead of the Emergency First Aid Education Bill, which is set to be discussed at Parliament this Friday 20th November.

David Warburton last week told Frome Times, “It’s extremely valuable to have emergency first aid taught in schools, and schools should definitely be encouraged to teach (and be supported in teaching) vital skills such as first aid.

“But I must admit I’m a little concerned about forcing schools by law to do so.

“There are many things which our children need to, or ought to learn which could reduce risk to themselves and others such as  riding a bike or using power tools. But I would be a little disconcerted, as an ex-teacher myself, if teachers were forced to teach a selection of these by law.

“But – and it’s a big but – I would expect that schools get a huge amount of support in teaching first aid in particular, in finding the time, getting the necessary materials and the knowledge to pass on the right information to children.

“I won’t be voting against or for the bill, but will be visiting schools in Frome on that Friday. It’s an interesting subject, but I do worry that giving schools an ever-growing long list of compulsory subjects could easily become a box-ticking exercise and prevent schools from getting their very difficult job done.”

The First Aid Education Bill is being put forward as part of the ‘Every Child a Lifesaver’ campaign, led by British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross and St John Ambulance. The campaign seeks to have first aid training included in the national school curriculum.

The charities claim that 95% of parents agree that first aid should be taught in secondary schools, but only 24% of schools offer the training.

Frome College did not comment on the proposal when asked by Frome Times.

To find out more about the campaign, visit www.everychildalifesaver.org.uk

 

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