Community of Lifesavers Education Programme

Published: 02/03/2023, 3:40pm
Community of Lifesavers Education Programme

CCEA partnered with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), the Department of Education (DE) and the Education Authority to create the Community of Lifesavers Education Programme to support schools in their delivery of content in Learning for Life and Work at Key Stage 3 and the first practical teacher training workshop has now taken place.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) awareness and training has been included in the minimum statutory content in Learning for Life and Work at Key Stage 3 since March 2022 and CCEA is committed to supporting teachers with this delivery.

CCEA, the Education Authority and NIAS have together created bespoke guidance, resources, and training to help schools teach young people what to do in the case of some medical emergencies and help save lives.

The first Community of Lifesavers Ambassador teacher training workshop was attended by Dr Mark Browne, Department of Education Permanent Secretary, along with CCEA, EA and NIAS representatives.

Corinne Latham, Temporary Director of Curriculum and Assessment, commented:

These learning and teaching resources have been commended by Resuscitation Council UK, who have labelled the initiative as a crucial step in increasing knowledge of cardiac arrest among young people and in demonstrating how they can help when faced with such an emergency. CCEA is also developing an interactive app to reinforce learning and provide young people with opportunities to practise lifesaving skills.

Dr Mark Browne, Department of Education Permanent Secretary, said:

This vital training supports the delivery of the new mandatory elements of the curriculum for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and awareness of automatic external defibrillators at Key Stage 3. This excellent initiative should provide young people the opportunity to develop practical knowledge, learn first aid and CPR, and have the confidence to put such knowledge into practice in a real-life emergency. I am delighted to see our Ambulance Service, CCEA, the EA and the Department of Education working together in the best interest of our children and young people and wider society.

Stephanie Leckey, Community Resuscitation Lead of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, said:

Lifesaver Ambassador training will enable delivery of skills to pupils in all schools across Northern Ireland and that will undoubtedly help save lives. Less than one in ten people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest; by training teachers and school staff to train the pupils we are strengthening the chain of survival. Hopefully doing CPR and using a defibrillator will be embedded in our society as we create a community of young lifesavers together.

The Education Authority has invited each post-primary school, special school, and Education Other Than at School (EOTAS) centre to nominate two teachers to attend a Lifesaver Ambassador training day delivered by NIAS Community Resuscitation Team. These sessions focus on the dissemination of practical skills relating to CPR training and AED awareness, helping teachers to become Lifesaver Ambassadors and develop the necessary skills to teach these lifesaving skills to Key Stage 3 pupils.

Education Authority Interim Director of Education, Cynthia Currie, said:

The Education Authority is delighted to be working in collaboration with the Department of Education, CCEA, and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service to facilitate teacher professional learning as part of the Community of Lifesavers Programme. The workshops provide teachers with valuable practical training in CPR and AED by highly skilled professionals from NI Ambulance Service. This training is complemented by the excellent resources within CCEA’S Community of Lifesavers (COLEP) Hub and will provide teachers with the necessary skills to support key stage 3 pupils with this area of learning.

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