Resuscitation Council (UK)


CPR Education Campaign: CPR to be added to the school curriculum

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Update: The Resuscitation Council (UK) welcomes the news released in January 2019 that CPR and first aid training are to be included as part of the school curriculum in England.  

The plans, due to be implemented from 2020, will undoubtedly save lives as children and young people learn this valuable skill and carry it with them through their lives.

The RC (UK) are very pleased about this outcome, after spending significant time campaigning on the issue. Andy Lockey, Vice President of the Resuscitation Council (UK) said: "Using our expertise in CPR and resuscitation, we look forward to working with the Department for Education to put the plans into practice."

Read our statement on the announcement. 

How has this happened?

In February 2018, we responded to the Government’s call for evidence on whether or not to make PSHE compulsory, arguing for the inclusion of first aid and CPR training on the curriculum. We also contributed to a joint response with our partners in the Every Child a Lifesaver coalition. This highlighted our support for first aid and CPR training on the curriculum and how the RC (UK)’s award winning CPR training app, Lifesaver and Lifesaver VR, and our World Restart a Heart campaign can support CPR education in schools. 

In July 2018 the government announced draft guidance which proposed to make health education (part of Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHE)) a statutory requirement in English schools. This included proposals to include basic first aid in the curriculum at both primary and secondary level and how to do CPR and the purpose of a defibrillator at secondary school.

The next step was for us to gather your support for the proposals, in order to ensure the government knew that this was important to all of us, and to make sure they put the draft proposals into practice. Thank you to everyone who supported our submission to the call for evidence by taking our short survey or by responding to the Department for Education's consultation, which closed in November 2018. 

Some of these messages of support included: 

“I have taught cpr and first aid to children age 10-11yrs for 15 yrs in a hospital environment unfortunately our program was stoped [sic] due to lack of funding. We have proof it has saved lives”. 

“I was trained in first aid & cpr back in 1993 at the end of Yr 6. I have had cause to use those skills many times both in my social and private life as well as professionally…I've seen the huge difference this small amount of knowledge can make and the only way to perpetuate this is to continue educating children and encouraging them through adulthood to further develop those skills”. 

“My eldest daughter is 11 and is very sensible, going to and from school alone/with friends, playing out/ socialising with friends, it is possible that she may end up in a situation where there is no adult and it would benefit them greatly to have this knowledge, it would put parents minds at a little more ease if they knew an older child could help themselves and others if any situation were to arise”. 

“… my brother collapsing at school with a heart attack and passing away at 14. CPR may have saved his life”.

We wanted to ensure that the positive proposals on first aid and CPR included in the draft guidance for schools made their way into final guidance, so it’s important that so many people made their voice heard on this important issue. 

This is a victory for everyone who lent their voice to the proposal to ensure CPR went onto the English curriculum 

CPR training in schools could improve the low chance of survival after OHCA in the UK. Training on crucial lifesaving skills and knowing what to do in an emergency can also empower students, increasing their confidence in emergency situations. One such example is Oliver Davidson, who saved his dad Neil’s life through the quick provision of CPR, a skill he learned at school 10 years before. 

To hear more about our policy and campaigns work, email us at

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