First aid compulsory from 2020

School children Ayesha Qadeer aged 9 and Israel Olushola aged 9 from Ark Oval Primary Academy school in South London with campaigner Marina Fogle participating in a first aid skills lesson outside the Houses of Parliament in London
Picture date: Thursday September 12, 2019. Photo credit David Parry/PA Wire

Dear editor,

You never know how you would act in an emergency, yet our actions could save a life.

This is why I think it’s fantastic that, after 10 years of campaigning by the British Red Cross, it will be compulsory for first aid skills to be taught in all state schools in England from 2020. It’s an  impactful way to give young people the confidence they need to help someone. 

As parents, Ben and I are so thrilled our children will be able to learn these important skills so that they never feel completely helpless in an emergency situation. 

It’s also a relief knowing that if anything were to happen to them in the future, more people might be able to help.

So many women I know, especially those weaning their babies, are terrified of the possibility of their child choking. But children learning first aid could make all the difference if one of their younger siblings was choking at home. 

This new legislation, however, is just for schools in England. At the moment teaching first aid in schools in the rest of the UK is optional. We support the British Red Cross’s calls for it to become a compulsory part of the curriculum throughout the UK so all school children get the same chance to learn how to save a life. 

Marina Fogle

Marina Fogle is a campaigner, co-founder of the Bump Class and host of The ParentHood podcast. She is married to British Red Cross Ambassador and TV adventurer Ben and mother to Ludo and Iona.