§ Mr. Alex Carlile
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will provide statistics showing the number of(a) fatalities and (b) other accidents involving serious injury in schools in Wales in each of the years 1979 to date; if he has any proposals to require teachers to attend first aid courses; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
[holding answer 4 December]: The data requested are not available for years before 1981.
The Health and Safety Executive has since then received reports under statutory regulations which indicate that in the period covered there have been four fatal incidents—one to an employee in 1984 and three to pupils, one in each of 1981, 1984 and in 1986–87. Changes in the regulations in 1985 resulted in data becoming available in respect of major incidents not involving death and they indicate that in 1986–87 and 1987–88 some 31 and 59 employees and 195 and 318 pupils in those years respectively were involved in reportable incidents. The increase resulted from declarations following the issue of guidance on uniform reporting standards issued to all local education authorities by the education services advisory committee.
The guidance note "Arrangements for First Aid Provision in Schools and Colleges" prepared by the Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office in consultation with interested bodies was issued to chief education officers in England and Wales in September 1987. This gave guidance to establish information reporting standards.
First aid facilities are looked at by Her Majesty's inspectorate of schools as part of its normal process of inspection of schools, and I know that it will have regard to the findings of a recent report on this matter.
All LEAs offer first aid training. The great majority of teachers have some basic knowledge of first aid. Specialist teachers of all practical subjects will have received first aid training and physical education teachers in particular will have received substantial training.