Schools Minister David Laws backs Mail on Sunday campaign to introduce vital CPR lessons in schools
Every child could leave school with essential lifesaving skills after Ministers backed campaign to add first aid to curriculum
Mr Laws became the first high-profile member of Coalition to support move
He said: ‘All children should leave school with the essential skills and knowledge that prepares them for life’
Schools Minister David Laws became the first high-profile member of the Coalition to support the move
Every child could leave school with essential lifesaving skills after Ministers backed a Mail on Sunday campaign to add first aid to the curriculum.
Schools Minister David Laws became the first high-profile member of the Coalition to support the move, piling pressure on Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to introduce mandatory training for first aid in schools.
Mr Laws said the crucial skills should be taught as a compulsory part of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons, which also cover sex education, anti-bullying and careers advice.
The newspaper is campaigning to make sure all schools teach basic first aid techniques – simple acts that could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year. The skills can also be taught by older children to their younger peers.
Our campaign now has cross-party support and is also backed by teachers and a number of leading charities.
Mr Laws said: ‘Parents expect to see some basic standards laid out on what their children will learn in school. All children should leave school with the essential skills and knowledge that prepares them for life.
‘Liberal Democrats are clear that all schools should teach Personal, Social and Health Education, and that we would expect that to include first aid.’
Mr Laws’s statement comes after Lib Dems voted in October to include mandatory first aid training in schools in their latest manifesto.
Tory Health Minister Earl Howe has also voiced his support, saying: ‘First aid is a highly valuable, potentially lifesaving skill and I encourage schools to teach pupils first aid through their PSHE lessons.’
Lib Dem MP Sir Bob Russell, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on first aid, said he hoped the other two main parties would also add the proposals to their pre-Election manifestos.
‘Mr Laws is considering these proposals,’ he said. ‘Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he sees this as part of the preventative agenda.’
Other politicians backing the plans include Labour’s Julie Hilling and Conservative MP Anne Marie Morris.
Ms Hilling said: ‘This is as essential as learning to read or write. Learning to save a life is precious.’
Charities including St John Ambulance and the British Heart Foundation are also behind the scheme.
BHF chief executive Simon Gillespie said: ‘A future government will need to play its part by making CPR part of the curriculum – a move that already has the support of the public, teachers and doctors.’