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The Department for Education is encouraging schools to purchase automated external defibrillators (AEDs) as part of their first aid equipment. To help them do this, on 26 November 2014 we announced new arrangements to allow schools to purchase AEDs at a competitive price. This is the result of a unique agreement between the Department for Education and the Department of Health in which devices are bought in bulk and the savings of around 50% are passed on to schools.
Since the launch of this policy, 1389 defibrillators have been provided to schools across the following regions:
England – 1326
Wales – 62
Scotland – 0
Northern Ireland – 1
These figures include 654 defibrillators purchased by schools since my answer to parliamentary question 13301 in October 2015. Taking into account all of the devices sold to schools through these arrangements, the estimated accumulative saving for schools is approximately £470,000.
Schools do not have to purchase a defibrillator through the government scheme, and the Department does not collect information on how many schools have access to a defibrillator.
To help schools in considering whether to purchase a defibrillator, the Department has published advice on installing and maintaining AEDs on school premises. This has been developed drawing on the expertise of NHS ambulance services and voluntary and community sector organisations.