RCUK welcomes addition of CPR training and defibrillator awareness to Northern Irish school curriculum

RCUK is delighted that today marks a change to the school curriculum as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and awareness of the use of defibrillators (AEDs) become mandatory elements of the curriculum for schools in Northern Ireland.   

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has brought forward legislation to make CPR training and AED awareness compulsory elements of the curriculum at Key Stage 3.   

The new legislation comes into operation today and schools will be required to teach these vital skills as part of Learning for Life and Work lessons from September 2022.   

In response to the announcement, RCUK President Prof. Andy Lockey said:  

“RCUK welcomes the fantastic news that Northern Ireland has joined England, Scotland and Wales in committing to teaching CPR and AED awareness.  

“We know that countries that train school pupils in CPR and AED awareness have higher survival rates after cardiac arrest. Training the next generation of lifesavers is a great way to improve survival rates, as more members of the public have the knowledge and confidence to act in an emergency. 

“This achievement owes much to the work of our friends and colleagues across the voluntary and health sectors, alongside Members of the Legislative Assembly who campaigned for CPR Education. It’s been a truly collaborative effort. We thank the Department for Education for recognising the importance of making this training accessible to pupils throughout Northern Ireland, and for bringing forward its implementation.”