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CPR Training in Schools

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 19th January 2016.

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Photo of Karen McKevitt Karen McKevitt Social Democratic and Labour Party 3:15 pm, 19th January 2016

T1. Mrs McKevitt asked the Minister of Education what steps his Department has taken to ensure that every pupil is given an opportunity to train in CPR in order to create a generation of lifesavers. (AQT 3351/11-16)

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

As the Member will be aware, within the curriculum, it is perfectly feasible and possible for schools to teach first aid and CPR. Many of our schools avail themselves of the services of the British Heart Foundation, St John Ambulance and other organisations to carry out training in CPR and basic training in first aid etc. There is a wealth of opportunities for schools to avail themselves of. We present the curriculum to the schools. It is up to the schools how they deliver the materials for that curriculum.

Photo of Karen McKevitt Karen McKevitt Social Democratic and Labour Party

I thank the Minister for his response. Is the Minister saying that it is already in the compulsory curriculum for schools that children should have that training opportunity?

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

No, I am not saying that. I am saying that, within the curriculum, there is the opportunity for schools to teach first aid. I recently met the Cormac Trust, which is another organisation that is providing CPR training and defibrillators to the schools that it works with. The curriculum is set out. Schools can decide to use which materials from and which interpretation of that curriculum as they see fit. First aid can be delivered through our curriculum. It is up to the board of governors of the school what part of the curriculum it delivers in these areas. However, I encourage schools to partake in CPR training. I encourage schools to take part in first aid. As I have said, there are many organisations out there availing themselves of that service.