Consultation launched over asthma inhalers in schools

Tony Fitzpatrick, Headteacher at Barnwell Middle School in Stevenage

Tony Fitzpatrick, Headteacher at Barnwell Middle School in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Following a sustained campaign, the Government has launched a consultation on allowing schools to keep an inhaler for emergencies.

Shannon Shaw suffered a fatal asthma attack

Shannon Shaw suffered a fatal asthma attack - Credit: Archant

The decision to hold a public consultation on permitting schools to keep an inhaler for emergency use - something which is currently illegal - was taken by the Government in October last year, but the consultation has only just been launched.

It is backed by the headteacher of Barnwell School in Stevenage, Tony Fitzpatrick, after a pupil suffered a severe asthma attack and died.

Shannon Shaw, 13, was on a bus in Broadwater Crescent, Stevenage, where she lived, when she suffered the fatal attack on February 11, 2008.

Although the incident did not take place on school premises, Mr Fitzpatrick has welcomed the public consultation, saying: “The more things like inhalers and defibrillators we have in schools the better.”

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland has been campaigning for more than three years for the law to be changed, calling it “basic common sense”.

He said: “I have been campaigning with Asthma UK so we can keep children with asthma safe at school.

Most Read

“I am delighted the Government is consulting on this matter.”

He said preventing schools from keeping emergency inhalers in first aid kits to give to children suffering asthma attacks is “a ridiculous situation” that needs to be changed.

To respond to the consultation, visit www.asthma.org.uk/inhalersconsultation