There are several distinct categories of medicines in school.

Firstly, the palliatives, cough medicines and the avoidables

There is often no need for medicines that have to be given 3 times a day to appear in schools. Such medicines can be administered at home before and after school and before bed. The Union would wish to see the great majority of these removed from school.

Secondly, Medicines that must be taken during the school day.

Where it is deemed essential, by a doctor, that a child be given a dose of that medicine during the school day, clear written instructions should accompany that medicine . Unless there is such clear written instruction to deviate from an established practice, the giving of medicines in those cases would be unwise. Additionally the Union would wish to see that anyone who volunteered to oversee or administer medicines was given adequate training.

Thirdly, Medical Treatment requiring specialist knowledge.

There has been an increase in the number of children both in mainstream and special schools who can only be allowed to go to those schools if there is medical support. This support may take the form of oxygen, rectal vallium or tube feeding. It is the view of the Union that if this type of support is required it should be given by people who are properly trained and supported and are paid to do this. It may be the case that it is necessary to have a special needs assistant employed to cater for a child's medical needs. The Union would certainly wish to see people specifically employed for this purpose, providing those people have been given adequate training. In all cases we would say that it is not appropriate for a teacher to be required to do this kind of work or to administer medicines because of potential legal liability if things go wrong. Should difficulties arise please consult the union office.

Teachers cannot be required to administer medicines. Members wanting advice should contact the Union Office.


This should only be given by approved and accredited First Aiders who are appointed by the school & LEA. Schools should have at least one first aider and if the school is operating on a split site, each site should have a first aider. It may be necessary to have more in order to ensure that the pupils & staff at all time have access to a first aider. The union will take up cases where provision is not adequate. Section 16 of the LEA Health & Safety Manual lists the contents of First Aid Boxes.

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