All state schools to get defibrillator by the end of the year

The Department for Education has announced that all state-funded schools in England that don't currently have a defibrillator will get one by the end of the school year.

Deliveries have already begun and the scheme follows campaigning by the Oliver King Foundation and its founder Mark King, who has worked to raise awareness for defibrillators since his son died from a cardiac arrest while swimming at school.

Some schools will also get defibrillators that are available to the community in external heated cabinets, where provision is lower.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: "Today we’re celebrating a huge milestone as we start deliveries of defibrillators to schools, working towards every school having one by the end of the academic year.

"None of this would have come about without the relentless and brave campaigning of Mark King and the Oliver King Foundation, and we are extremely grateful to him and other leading charities for the ongoing support they will doubtless provide schools from lesson plans to staff training."

Schools will receive guidance on how to make their defibrillator available to the community and are encouraged to sign up to the national defibrillator network, The Circuit. Awareness videos will be provided and schools are urged to show these in staff meeting and assemblies.

Founder of the Oliver King Foundation Mark King said: "This is a landmark moment and will be welcomed by pupils, parents and teachers up and down the country.

"It is a proud day for us because we’ve campaigned for schools to have access to defibrillators for over a decade. It is a major victory for the Oliver King Foundation.

Image by Tanja-Denise Schantz from Pixabay


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