Certified CPR training courses are essential!

HIGH school students will not be given properly-certified CPR training despite the price tag for teaching to an entire cohort of new pupils across the state coming at only $3 million each year.

Lifesaving and medical experts have warned hundreds of people could be dying or suffering preventable brain injuries each year because most Australians remain ignorant of proper resuscitation techniques.

But the NSW government has ruled out making changes to its in-school CPR programs, which do not include any requirement that students complete fully-accredited courses.

The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has rejected calls for compulsory, certified teaching in the skill to be part of the national curriculum.

A submission from The Sunday Telegraph — with support from St John Ambulance, the Royal Life Saving Society, Surf Life Saving NSW and the Australian Medical Association — recommended certified CPR training be made mandatory in all schools.

Royal Life Saving NSW CEO David McAllister said NSW should include the skills as a “compulsory element and not one of choice” in its classrooms and the organisation wanted a stronger commitment to CPR and first-aid across all high school years in the curriculum.

“100 per cent we support that people should learn both CPR and first aid in schools,” he said.

Some 266 people drowned across Australia in the last financial year but the organisation estimates far more are involved in serious, near-drowning incidents each year — many of which end in permanent brain damage for victims.

St John Ambulance CEO Peter LeCornu said every Australian should be taught how to properly perform CPR from early high school onwards, with regular refresher courses to stop the techniques being forgotten.

“Serious accidents don’t happen every day, but when they do happen, if CPR is not administered, the chances of survival are significantly reduced,” he said.

The first-aid service has said only 8 per cent of Australians know how to properly perform CPR and no state currently had an adequate system for teaching the skill in schools.

Surf Life Saving NSW has calculated it could deliver certified CPR training at a cost of $35 per student — or about $3 million for every Year 7 pupil in the state.

Students are currently taught resuscitation techniques including CPR between years 5 and 10, but the lessons do not include mandatory, formal qualifications.

A spokesman for the Department of Education said the government had no plans to change the current arrangements for teaching students about CPR.

“Learning First Aid, including CPR, is a mandatory part of the NSW Year 7 to 10 syllabus,” he said.

“CPR training is conducted by qualified teachers in a hands-on program using mannequins. Schools may choose to provide extra opportunities for students to build on this knowledge through such programs as the Royal Lifesaving Awards, St. John’s Ambulance Certificates, and Surf Lifesaving Awards.”


Book a course with Simple Instruction on Sydney’s Northern Beaches! Courses are conducted at the Dee Why RSL