Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (206)

Denis Naughten


206. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Skills if funding is available to schools to provide training for teachers through approved courses on the administration of EpiPens; his plans to provide such funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4999/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Board of Management is the body charged with the overall governance and management of a school under the Education Act 1998.

The Board of Management of each school is responsible for the care and safety of all of the students in their school and care and safety should be at the centre of all policy and practices. Schools are required to take all reasonable precautions to provide training for teachers to ensure the safety and welfare of their pupils.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) advise that, by law, employers and those who control workplaces to any extent, must identify hazards in the workplaces under their control and assess the risk presented by the hazards.

Employers must identify the risks and mitigating actions. The aim of Risk Management is to reduce the risk of injury and illness associated with work. The Risk Assessment(s) will form part of the employer's Safety Statement.

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 set out the First-Aid requirements for workplaces as follows: "Employers have a duty to provide first-aid equipment at all places at work where working conditions require it. Depending on the size or specific hazard (or both) of the place of work, trained occupational first-aiders must also be provided. Apart from some exceptions, first-aid rooms must be provided where appropriate. Information must also be provided to employees as regards the first-aid facilities and arrangements in place."

It is important that the school management authority requests parents to inform the school of any medical condition suffered by any student attending. Where the school is aware of potential difficulties that may arise as a consequence of a medical condition suffered by one or more students, it may be possible for the management authorities, working in conjunction with parents, teachers and children to put preventative measures in place to lessen the possibility of any difficulties arising or to ensure that, if a student suffers from an illness requiring, for example, the administration of medication, that appropriate treatment is available.

The organisation of training in the administration of medicines is a matter for the Board of Management and my Department has no plans for future training programmes in this area.