Safer Schools Programme

The information and resources on this page will support your school to develop best practice policies and procedures to ensure children with allergies are managed safely. This includes our AllergyWise for Schools online training course for all school staff, best practice resources such as a model policy for allergy management at school, information about spare pens in schools, plus more.

Whole School Allergy Awareness

Every school class is likely to have at least one allergic pupil. The most serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) usually begins within minutes and is potentially life-threatening. Unfortunately, there have been cases of fatal anaphylaxis happening when a child is at school. Lessons learnt from these tragic cases emphasise the need for all school staff to be able to recognise the signs of an allergic reaction and have the confidence to manage this.

 

We encourage a whole school allergy awareness approach and aim to provide all staff with the knowledge and expertise to support allergic pupils.

Online allergy training for schools

Whether you’re a headteacher, teacher, teaching assistant, member of administration staff or part of the catering team, this course is for you and will support your school to keep allergic pupils safe. 

 

The AllergyWise course will ensure all staff understand the common causes and signs of an allergic reaction, how to recognise and manage anaphylaxis and provides practical tips for safely managing severely allergic children in school.

 

The course takes ~45 minutes and a downloadable digital certificate upon successful completion of the course costs just £5+vat per staff member. 

 

Pre-purchase AllergyWise for Schools certificates for all school staff and access our new lesson resource packs.

New from September 2022

Our new lesson resource packs are included from September 2022 for schools that purchase AllergyWise for Schools digital certificates for all their staff (minimum of 20).

 

Completing our AllergyWise for Schools online course before delivering these lessons will give staff the knowledge and expertise to feel confident teaching about allergy!

What is included in the primary school lesson resource packs?

There are four downloadable lesson resource packs covering all primary school age groups – Foundation (Reception), Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4) and Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6). The packs include lesson plans, presentations, activities and videos.

Developed with our Education Ambassador and primary school head teacher, Tracey Dunn, these primary school lesson packs are designed to support the teaching of allergy and first aid, as required by the new statutory Relationships Education (RE) curriculum, as well as promoting empathy and inclusion of all children.

What is included in the secondary school lesson resource pack?

This downloadable lesson resource pack is designed to facilitate an allergy awareness session with secondary school students – this could be part of PSHE, Citizenship or during tutor time. The session aims to improve student’s knowledge of serious allergies and to raise awareness of the emotional impact that allergies can have.

 

The resource pack includes a lesson plan, presentation, activities and video.

School nurse or other healthcare professional

AllergyWise for Healthcare Professionals

Best practice resources

Schools have a legal duty to make arrangements for supporting children with medical conditions, including allergies. Statutory guidance is available for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on supporting children at school with medical conditions (see UK Guidance Useful Links section below). The statutory guidance is intended to help governing bodies meet their legal responsibilities and sets out the arrangements they will be expected to make, based on good practice.

 

The following best practice resources are designed to support schools to safely manage allergic pupils.

 

  • Model policy for allergy management at school

    Anaphylaxis UK and Allergy UK have worked with the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) and the Medical Conditions in Schools Alliance, to develop a Model Policy for Allergy Management at School guide. It has been designed to support schools to develop a ‘Gold Standard’ policy to manage children’s allergies safely, so that children and their parents feel reassured that a robust policy is in place.

    The Model Policy for Allergy Management at School, which includes an example of a comprehensive working policy has been reviewed by Professor Adam Fox, Paediatric Allergist at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals, London, Dr Paul Turner, MRC Clinician Scientist in Paediatric Allergy & Immunology at Imperial College and the BSACI Standards of Care Group.

    Click here to view the model policy for allergy management at school

    Click here for an editable word document copy of the model policy template

  • Allergy action plans

    Allergy action plans are designed to function as individual healthcare plans for children with food allergies, providing medical and parental consent for schools to administer medicines in the event of an allergic reaction, including consent to administer a spare adrenaline auto-injector.

    We recommend that all parents and schools use the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) Allergy Action Plan to ensure continuity. This is a national plan that has been agreed by the BSACI, Anaphylaxis UK and Allergy UK. These plans have been designed to facilitate first aid treatment of anaphylaxis, to be delivered by people without any special medical training nor equipment apart from access to an adrenaline auto-injector. Please note, the plans are medical documents and should be completed by a child’s health professional (and not by parents or teachers, for example).

    There are four plans available; a generic plan for individuals assessed as not needing an adrenaline auto-injector, and a personal plan for individuals prescribed an EpiPen, Jext or Emerade.

    Click here to download the four different Allergy Action Plans here

  • Annual risk assessment and allergy protocol checklist

    Tracey Dunn, primary school headteacher and Education Ambassador for Anaphylaxis UK, has produced a detailed Annual Risk Assessment and an Allergy Protocol Checklist that your school can use to help ensure pupils with allergies are kept safe.

    Click here to download the Annual Risk Assessment

    Click here to download the Allergy Protocol Checklist

  • Template allergy awareness letters

    We have developed two template letters for you to adapt to your school’s needs.

    Click here to download the Starting Reception Template Allergy Letter

    Click here to download the School Template Allergy Letter

  • FAQs in schools factsheet

    This factsheet will help answer some of the questions frequently asked by schools. These include questions such as ‘How many adrenaline auto-injectors should an allergic pupil in school have?’ ‘How do I administer an adrenaline auto-injector’ and outlines the responsibilities of the school, the family and the pupil.

    Click here to view the FAQs in Schools factsheet

  • Webinars

    Watch our webinars for school staff here

Frequently asked questions about spare pens in schools

It is important for pupils to carry (or have access to) two of their own prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors at all times. It is also strongly encouraged that generic adrenaline auto-injectors or ‘spare pens’ are available in school. These spare adrenaline auto-injectors are a back up device and not a replacement for a pupil’s own prescribed adrenaline.

 

From 1st October 2017, schools in the UK can buy adrenaline auto-injectors without a prescription to use in an emergency on children who are at risk of a severe allergic reaction but whose own device is not available or not working. This could be because their auto-injectors are broken, or out-of-date, for example.

 

For further guidance about spare adrenaline auto-injectors in school, see the UK Guidance Useful Links section.

 

 

  • Does the change in legislation apply to all schools? E.g. nursery schools, primary and secondary schools, independent schools?

    The change in legislation applies to local authority-maintained nurseries, primary, secondary and special schools, academies, pupil referral units and independent schools in England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland this applies to grant aided schools and independent schools as defined in the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986. The ‘Human Medicines (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2014’ defined what the term ‘school’ means. This definition can be found here.

  • How does my school purchase spare adrenaline auto-injectors?

    Schools can purchase adrenaline auto-injectors from a pharmaceutical supplier, such as a local pharmacy, without a prescription, provided the general advice relating to these transactions are observed: i.e. small quantities on an occasional basis and the school does not intend to profit from it. A supplier will need a request signed by the principal or head teacher stating:
    •the name of the school
    •the purpose why the adrenaline auto-injector is/are required
    •the total number required

    A template letter which must be complete on headed school paper can be downloaded here. It is also available on the website www.sparepensinschools.uk.

  • How much do adrenaline auto-injectors cost?

    Pharmacies are not required to provide adrenaline auto-injectors(s) free of charge to schools, your school must pay for them as a retail item. They cost around £35 each, but most pharmacies will add an additional handling charge of £10-£15 each.

  • What brands are available to purchase?

    The adrenaline auto-injectors prescribed in the UK at present are EpiPen®, Jext® and Emerade®. The decision as to how many and what brands to purchase will depend on the individual circumstances within your school. However, the Department of Health guidance advises:

    “Where all pupils are prescribed the same device, the school should obtain the same brand for the spare AAI. If two or more brands are currently held by the school, the school may wish to purchase the brand most commonly prescribed to its pupils.”

    The place where the adrenaline auto-injector is administered is the same for Emerade®, EpiPen® and Jext®; they are injected into the muscle in the front quarter of the outer thigh. However, there is some variation in operating each one and training on each device should be given to all school staff who might be required to administer adrenaline in an emergency.

  • Where should the spare adrenaline auto-injectors be stored?

    They should be stored in a central location (not locked away). They must be accessible and available for use at all times, and not located more than 5 minutes away from where they may be needed. The location must be known to all staff members.

  • Who are spare adrenaline auto-injectors for?

    School’s spare adrenaline auto-injectors should only be used on pupils known to be at risk of anaphylaxis and for whom both medical authorisation and written parental consent for use of the spare injector has been provided. The school’s spare auto-injector can be administered to a pupil whose own prescribed device cannot be administered correctly without delay.

    If a child is having anaphylaxis but does not have a plan with medical authorisation and parental consent, schools should immediately call 999 and seek advice. If spare adrenaline auto-injectors are available, mention this to the call handler/emergency medical dispatcher, as they can authorise use of the spare injector if appropriate.

  • Who can administer AAIs?

    Any member of staff may volunteer to take on this role. In many schools, it would be appropriate for there to be multiple designated members of staff who can administer an adrenaline auto-injector to avoid any delay in treatment and ensure cover when staff are on leave.

    Regulation 238 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 allows for adrenaline to be administered by anyone for the purpose of saving life in an emergency.

  • Can after school clubs, such as girl guides or scouts, purchase spare adrenaline auto-injectors?

    Where clubs occur on school premises as part of official school activities, they can have access to the school’s spare adrenaline auto-injectors.

    Any other organisations or clubs outside of school, cannot purchase spare adrenaline auto-injectors. Children at risk of anaphylaxis must have their own prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors with them, in the event of a reaction.

Allergy bullying

Unfortunately, we know bullying due to allergies is not uncommon. By law, all state schools must have a behaviour policy in place that includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils, and this is a policy decided by the school. All teachers, pupils and parents must be told what it is, and allergy bullying should be treated seriously, like any other bullying. Schools must ensure that all children with medical conditions, in terms of both physical and mental health, are properly supported in school so that they can play a full and active role in school life, remain healthy and achieve their academic potential. 

 

The Department for Education has provided statutory guidance for schools and colleges on keeping children safe in education. View the guidance here. 

 

Bullying UK have provided advice for schools on creating anti bullying policies. 

Heads Together have given information on how to provide peer support. 

Other useful websites include Bully Busters, Anti-Bullying Alliance, Childline andNSPCC. 

Fundraising in schools

We have a range of resources available to support awareness raising of serious allergies in schools. If you would like to discuss these or would like to fundraise in school for us, please contact the fundraising team via the form below.

Fundraising

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By fundraising for us you will be helping us to continue our work supporting people at risk of serious allergic reactions.