Good Samaritan kids in East Anglia denied life-saving skills by Westminster

All students should be taught how to save a life - says the British Heart Foundation

More than a third of children in East Anglia are powerless to help someone who has collapsed in the street despite more than three quarters wanting to be able to help- according to a survey by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Working with Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK), the BHF is calling on the Government to change the National Curriculum in England to ensure all students are taught Emergency Life Support (ELS) skills which would help save a life.

The survey also revealed overwhelming support from parents. In East Anglia almost 4 in 5 parents think the skills should be taught at school.

Maura Gillespie, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the BHF, said: “Teaching young people how to save a life is as important as learning to read and write.

“This Government wants the Big Society to empower people to take action in their communities and help others. Making these skills part of the National Curriculum in England would be a simple way of turning that vision into a reality.”

The BHF is calling on the Government to teach ELS within a range of lessons including Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education lessons along with Physical Education, Citizenship and Science.

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ELS skills include CPR, which can help someone who has had a cardiac arrest, and how to deal with an unconscious person, serious bleeding, choking and heart attacks.

Maura adds: “This is about giving students the skills that make a difference in an emergency. ELS skills take just two hours to learn. Two hours, repeated each year until they leave school, to equip every young person with the gift of knowing how to save a life.”

The BHF’s Heartstart scheme has already trained 2.6 million people across the UK in ELS skills. It’s asking parents, teachers and kids, to sign a petition to make ELS a compulsory part of the National Curriculum in England. Find out more at