Clueless Government don't know how many life-saving defibrillators are in schools

By Louie Smith

The Department for Education has been criticised for not knowing how many defibrillators are currently in schools.

Earlier this week Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he wants to change regulations to ensure every school has one.

But a Freedom of Information request found that his department “does not hold information” on how many are in place at schools, colleges and universities.

The DfE is now understood to be surveying facilities to find out.

Campaigner Claire Page, 40, helped to get 32 defibrillators installed locally after her daughter Lilly-May, five, collapsed and died in 2014.

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Claire Page is angry (Get Reading)

She said: “It’s shocking the Government doesn’t know how many are in schools. I understand all new-build ones are supposed to have them but what about old ones?

“The Department must do more to educate schools about how important they are. At the moment all of this education is being done by bereaved parents.”

The provision of life-saving defibrillators in schools is currently organised at a local level, which leaves some children safer than others.

Defibrillators save lives (Andrew Neil)

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A spokesman for leading supplier defibshop said: “We welcome Mr Williamson’s announcement about a change in regulations.

“This is a great step forward to ensuring the safety of our children while in education. But we are concerned to learn that the Government does not hold records detailing which schools have defibrillators.”

On Friday, a Bill calling for defibrillators to be a legal requirement in all public places will get its second Commons reading.

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