Compulsory First Aid Education

Another Friday in the House of Commons yesterday and another worthy but, in my opinion, inappropriate Bill being brought forward. This time  a Bill to make it compulsory to teach emergency  first aid in state funded secondary schools.

I entirely agree it is a good thing for more people to learn first aid skills but to force schools into teaching it is not the right way forward.

I think it should be left to schools to decide what other subjects outside of the core subjects should be taught. Many schools already teach first aid skills. There were many problems with the detail of the Bill too. For example, it was not clear how long the lessons were expected to be or indeed whether there was to be any assessment as to whether the pupils had leant the skills and learnt them properly. There was no indication of the actual cost or indeed of where the money would come from.

There are many voluntary organisations which provide excellent training on first aid and hopefully after the publicity over the Bill more people will decide to learn first aid skills.

I did a first aid badge when I was in the Scouts but it was years ago and I am not sure I would feel confident today about using those skills now so periodical updating is also, I think, essential.

2 thoughts on “Compulsory First Aid Education

  1. ‘Many schools already teach first aid skills’

    If you could tell us evidence you have of schools in North Bury who teach First Aid and in what format and structure. Maybe you have evidence from a poll or primary data which you have collected. It could be an important factor when choosing a secondary school for my child. To make this claim to the house you must have known how the facts on the ground of your own doorstep lay.

    It would have been democratic to let this go to a vote instead of the bill getting ‘Talked to a death’ by members. Seems to be becoming popular in the house among a few MP’s

    Regards

    • Hi, Thank you for your comment as I said in my speech my office contacted our local schools and I quoted what they said in my speech. They did not want the teaching of emergency first aid to be made compulsory. I am sure you will be able to ask for the details of the exact nature of the first aid teaching when you approach schools for your daughter.
      As for the fact that the Bill was still being debated at the end of the day there are two points to make. firstly, the opposition sought not one but two urgent questions which some may have thought could have waited until Monday. Secondly, under the rules of the House it is possible if the Speaker agrees to seek to end a debate even though there are members still wishing to speak. If the vote is won and at least 100 members vote in favour then the Debate is brought to an end and the Bill voted on. It does not seem a particularly high hurdle for someone who wishes to change the law to expect 100 out of 650 members to vote in favour.
      David

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