§ Mr. Blunkett
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what guidance has been issued by his Department to representatives of the teaching profession, regarding the need to cater for school children with chronic allergic conditions who may require the immediate administration of adrenalin injections while at school; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Forth
General guidance on health care in schools for children with medical conditions is given in the Department's circular 11/90 "Staffing for Pupils with Special Educational Needs". The code of practice on the identification and assessment of special educational needs offers guidance to schools on the circumstances in which they might have recourse to the child health services.
The statutory responsibility for securing health care for children in school rests with district health authorities. Teachers could not be required in law to administer medicines or to give injections. However, teachers have a general duty of care towards children in schools, and it is therefore reasonable to expect a teacher to react promptly if a child with a chronic allergy condition is suddenly taken ill. Such action could include assisting with the injection of adrenaline, if the teacher is competent and willing to do so and has been appropriately trained.