• recognises that asthma is a widespread, serious but controllable condition and the school welcomes all pupils with asthma;
• ensures that pupils with asthma can and do participate fully in all aspects of school life, including art lessons, PE, science, visits, outings or field trips and other out-of-hours school activities;
• recognises that pupils with asthma need immediate access to inhalers at all times; keeps a record of all pupils with asthma and the medicines they take;
• ensures that the whole school environment, including the physical, social, sporting and educational environment, is favourable to pupils with asthma;
• ensures that all pupils understand asthma;
• ensures that all staff (including supply teachers and support staff) who come into contact with pupils with asthma know what to do in an asthma attack;
• understands that pupils with asthma may experience bullying and has procedures in place to prevent this;
• will work in partnership with all interested parties including the school’s governing body, all school staff, school nurses, parents/carers, employers of school staff, doctors, nurses and pupils to ensure the policy is planned, implemented and maintained successfully.
This policy has been written with advice from the Department for Education & Skills, Asthma UK, the local education authority, local healthcare professionals, the school health service, parents/carers, the governing body and pupils. This school recognises that asthma is a widespread, serious but controllable condition affecting many pupils at the school. The school positively welcomes all pupils with asthma. This school encourages pupils with asthma to achieve their potential in all aspects of school life by having a clear policy that is understood by school staff, their employers (the local education authority) and pupils. Supply teachers and new staff are also made aware of the policy. All staff who come into contact with pupils with asthma
are provided with training on asthma from the school nurse who has had asthma training.
Training is updated once a year, or as often as is possible depending upon school priorities.
• Immediate access to reliever medicines is essential. The reliever inhalers of all children are kept in the classroom in an easily accessible place
• All inhalers must be labelled with the child’s name by the parent/carer.
• School staff are not required to administer asthma medicines to pupils (except in an emergency), however many of the staff at this school are happy to do this. School staff who agree to administer medicines are insured by the local education authority when acting in agreement with this policy. All school staff will let pupils take their own medicines when they need to.
• At the beginning of each school year or when a child joins the school, parents/carers are asked
if their child has any medical conditions including asthma on their enrolment form. From this information the school keeps its asthma register, which is available to all school staff.
Exercise and activity – PE and games
• Taking part in sports, games and activities is an essential part of school life for all pupils. All teachers know which children in their class have asthma and all PE teachers at the school are aware of which pupils have asthma from the school’s asthma register. Pupils with asthma are encouraged to participate fully in all PE lessons. PE teachers will remind pupils whose asthma is triggered by exercise to take their reliever inhaler before the lesson, and to thoroughly warm up and down before and after the lesson. It is agreed with PE staff that each pupil’s inhaler will be labelled and kept in a box easily accessible within the classroom. If a pupil needs to use their inhaler during a lesson they will be encouraged to do so. Classroom teachers follow the same principles as described above for games and activities involving physical activity. Pupils with asthma are encouraged to participate fully in all PE lessons.
There has been a large emphasis in recent years on increasing the number of children and young people involved in exercise and sport in and outside of school. The health benefits of exercise are well documented and this is also true for children and young people with asthma. It is therefore important that the school involve pupils with asthma as much as possible in after school clubs. PE teachers, classroom teachers and out-of hours school sport coaches are aware of the potential triggers for pupils with asthma when exercising, tips to minimize these triggers and what to do in the event of an asthma attack.
The school does all that it can to ensure the school environment is favourable to pupils with asthma. The school does not keep furry or feathery animals and has a definitive no-smoking policy. As far as possible the school does not use chemicals in science and art lessons that are potential triggers for pupils with asthma. Pupils with asthma are encouraged to leave the room and go and sit in the school office if particular fumes trigger their asthma.
When a pupil is falling behind in lessons
If a pupil is missing a lot of time at school or is always tired because their asthma is disturbing their sleep at night, the class teacher will initially talk to the parents/carers to work out how to prevent their child from falling behind. If appropriate, the teacher will then talk to the school nurse and special education needs coordinator about the pupil’s needs
The school recognises that it is possible for pupils with asthma to have special education needs due to their asthma.
All staff who come into contact with pupils with asthma must know what to do in the event of an asthma attack. In the event of an asthma attack the school follows the procedure outlined by Asthma UK in its School Asthma Pack. This procedure is visibly displayed in the staffroom (See appendix 1)
Roles and Responsibilities
Asthma UK recommends the following roles in developing an asthma policy:
Employers have a responsibility to:
• ensure the health and safety of their employees (all staff) and anyone else on the premises or taking part in school activities (this includes pupils). This responsibility extends to those staff and others leading activities taking place off site, such as visits, outings or field trips. Employers therefore have a responsibility to ensure that an appropriate asthma policy is in place
• make sure the asthma policy is effectively monitored and regularly updated
• report to parents/carers, pupils, school staff and local health authorities about the successes and failures of the policy
• provide indemnity for teachers who volunteer to administer medicine to pupils with asthma who need help. Head teachers and principals
Head teachers and principals have a responsibility to:
• plan an individually tailored school asthma policy with the help of school staff, school nurses, local education authority advice and the support of their employers
• plan the school’s asthma policy in line with devolved national guidance
• liaise between interested parties – school staff, school nurses, parents/carers, governors, the school health service and pupils
• ensure the plan is put into action, with good communication of the policy to everyone
• ensure every aspect of the policy is maintained
• assess the training and development needs of staff and arrange for them to be met
• ensure all supply teachers and new staff know the school asthma policy
• regularly monitor the policy and how well it is working
• delegate a staff member to check the expiry date of spare reliever inhalers and maintain the
school asthma register
• report back to their employers and their local education authority about the school asthma policy.
All school staff have a responsibility to:
• understand the school asthma policy
• know which pupils they come into contact with have asthma
• know what to do in an asthma attack
• allow pupils with asthma immediate access to their reliever inhaler
• tell parents/carers if their child has had an asthma attack
• tell parents/carers if their child is using more reliever inhaler than they usually would
• ensure pupils have their asthma medicines with them when they go on a school trip or out of the classroom
• ensure pupils who have been unwell catch up on missed school work
• be aware that a pupil may be tired because of night-time symptoms
• keep an eye out for pupils with asthma experiencing bullying
• liaise with parents/carers, the school nurse and special educational needs coordinators or Learning Support & Special Educational Needs Department if a child is falling behind with
their work because of their asthma. PE teachers
PE teachers have a responsibility to:
• understand asthma and the impact it can have on pupils. Pupils with asthma should not be forced to take part in activity if they feel unwell. They should also not be excluded from activities
that they wish to take part in if their asthma is well controlled
• ensure pupils have their reliever inhaler with them during activity or exercise and are allowed to take it when needed
• if a pupil has asthma symptoms while exercising, allow them to stop, take their reliever inhaler and as soon as they feel better allow them to return to activity. (Most pupils with asthma should wait at least five minutes)
• remind pupils with asthma whose symptoms are triggered by exercise to use their reliever inhaler immediately before warming up
• ensure pupils with asthma always warm up
and down thoroughly.
School nurses have a responsibility to:
• help plan/update the school asthma policy
• if the school nurse has an asthma qualification it can be their responsibility to provide regular training for school staff in managing asthma
• provide information about where schools can get training if they are not able to provide specialist training themselves. NB: In some boarding schools, school nurses may hold further responsibilities in the management and monitoring of pupils’ asthma (for example ensuring all pupils with asthma have a written personal asthma action plan).
Doctors and asthma nurses have a responsibility to:
• complete the school asthma cards provided by parents/carers
• ensure the child or young person knows how to use their asthma inhaler (and spacer) effectively
• provide the school with information and advice if a child or young person in their care has severe asthma symptoms (with the consent of the child or young person and their parents/carers)
• offer the parents/carers of every child a written personal asthma action plan. Every young person should also be offered a written personal asthma action plan themselves.
Pupils have a responsibility to:
• treat other pupils with and without asthma equally
• let any pupil having an asthma attack take their reliever inhaler (usually blue) and ensure a member of staff is called
• tell their parents/carers, teacher or PE teacher when they are not feeling well
• treat asthma medicines with respect
• know how to gain access to their medicine in an emergency
• know how to take their own asthma medicines.
Parents/carers have a responsibility to:
• tell the school if their child has asthma
• ensure the school has a complete and up-to-date school asthma card for their child
• inform the school about the medicines their child requires during school hours
• inform the school of any medicines the child enquires while taking part in visits, outings or field trips and other out-of-school activities such as school team sports
• tell the school about any changes to their child’s medicines, what they take and how much
• inform the school of any changes to their child’s asthma (for example, if their symptoms are getting worse or they are sleeping badly due to their asthma)
• ensure their child’s reliever inhaler (and spacer where relevant) is labelled with their name
• provide the school with a spare reliever inhaler labelled with their child’s name
• ensure that their child’s reliever inhaler and the spare is within its expiry date
• keep their child at home if they are not well enough to attend school
• ensure their child catches up on any school work they have missed
• ensure their child has regular asthma reviews with their doctor or asthma nurse (every six to 12 months)
• ensure their child has a written personal asthma action plan to help them manage their child’s condition.