RCUK Urges Wales to include CPR in 2022 School Curriculum

In 2022, Wales will rehaul their school curriculum. As part of this, they plan to develop six Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLEs).

One of those AoLEs is Health and Wellbeing. Resuscitation Council UK believes that all school pupils in the UK should learn lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills, so we have offered feedback on the Welsh Government’s draft guidance in the hope that CPR education becomes part of Wales’ new curriculum, just as it is in England and Scotland.

Why do we support CPR training in Welsh schools?

The UK’s survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are shockingly low- fewer than 1 in 10 survive – and we want Welsh communities to join us in improving this statistic. In Norway, where CPR is taught in school, 7 out of 10 of people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest, showing the impact of learning the skill at school. 

We know from our recent survey on CPR Education that CPR training in schools would have widespread public support, making it a very popular and important intervention.

Why is CPR training in schools important?

CPR is important in schools and beyond, for the simple reason that it saves lives.

CPR is a lifelong skill, and learning it early provides the practical skills needed to save lives, as well as boosting confidence in helping in an emergency. 

How did Resuscitation Council UK help?

The Welsh government drafted a curriculum and provided a window for feedback and consultation, which closed on Friday, 19 July 2019.

We provided expertise in CPR and defibrillation to support the implementation of the Health and Wellbeing area of the draft curriculum, highlighting our experience leading World Restart a Heart Day, which has trained hundreds of thousands of people in CPR, and promoting our app, Lifesaver, as a useful and free training resource for use in Welsh schools.

In our consultation response, we emphasised why we feel CPR education should be part of Wales’ compulsory curriculum. From 2022, we want to see all Welsh pupils trained in CPR before they leave school, in order to ensure that Welsh residents have the best chance of survival after a cardiac arrest. We have also been pushing for CPR to be included on the Welsh Curriculum on social media as part of our overall campaign to drive the public to learn skills in CPR.

Download our consultation response (12pgs)

September 2020 update: RCUK also submitted a response to the consultation on the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill in September 2020. In our response we emphasised the need for a stronger commitment to the teaching of lifesaving skills in all Welsh schools. This would ensure Welsh pupils receive the same opportunity to learn these vital skills as their English and Scottish peers, in light or recent commitments to teach CPR at secondary school level in both England and Scotland. Download the consultation response here.

March 2021 update: RCUK is delighted that during the stage 3 consideration of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill on 2 March 2021, the Welsh education secretary agreed to update the wording of the statutory curriculum for Wales guidance, so in future it will say “Schools should also consider what strategies their learners will need to be able to safely intervene to support others who may be at risk. This should include lifesaving skills and first aid."