Launched in November 1999, the Heartstart UK Scottish Schools Initiative (HSSI) is a multi-agency approach to the development and support of Emergency Life Support (ELS). Training programs in Scotland are supported by a variety of groups, including: The British Heart Foundation, Scottish Resuscitation Group, NHS Scotland, Learning and Teaching Scotland and The Scottish Ambulance Service.

ELS comprises of the essential actions needed to maintain life in a emergency situation.  The HSSI provides guidance and equipment to individual schools that affiliate to Heartstart UK, allowing them to implement the teaching of ELS within the school.  Schools represent the ideal environment in which to learn the vital skills and opportunities exist to integrate ELS training into the curriculum.

The program is designed to correlate to the 5-14 year olds curriculum.  The age at which the children can learn the skills of ELS depends on their learning and physical ability.  Most children are able to perform the complete range of ELS skills from 10-11 years of age.

A staged program of learning is recommended and the Heartstart UK Schools Training Pack provides guidance and resource materials.  Practical sessions can be flexible, depending on the curriculum.  Ideally, six x 40-50 minute sessions allow for plenty of practice for all ELS skills.

Who teaches the program?  It is usually delivered by teachers but classroom assistants, janitors, secretarial, kitchen staff and parents can also be trained.  The training of staff is usually delivered over 2 x 2 hour sessions.

Heartstart Ayrshire & Arran offer to hold an initial two hour class, allowing staff to see what is involved in the program and to help identify anyone willing to train as an Instructor within the school.  The class can be held on an in-service day, within CPD time or after schools hours.

Affiliation to Heartstart is free of charge and the benefits include:

  • Free training course for staff
  • Free equipment
  • Free Instructor course
  • Public Liability and personal accident insurance cover
  • Heartstart UK Schools Training Pack which includes: DVD, posters, leaflets, handbooks, activity and skills cards.
  • Resuscitation training manuals.
  • BHF Magazine
  • Continued guidance and support from Heartstart Ayrshire & Arran



Darvel boy
School display