6 August, 2019
You might have heard that Wales will be rehauling their school curriculum in 2022.
This means instead of numerous subjects being compulsory, there will now be six Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLEs).
One of those AoLEs is Health and Wellbeing. The 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learn lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills, so we have offered feedback on the Welsh Government’s draft guidance in the hope that CPR education becomes part of Wales’ new curriculum, just as it is in England and Scotland.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?
Welsh pupils should get the same opportunity to learn CPR as their English and Scottish peers.
The UK’s survival rates for Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests 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; in order to create our own community of lifesavers and to make sure that more lives are saved, the UK needs to come together to learn CPR.
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 gives individuals the practical skills to help save lives, and makes them feel confident that they can handle an emergency situation. Pupils who are taught CPR at school will develop those skills as early as possible, and retain them for life.
How did the RC (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.