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Liz McInnes MP has written to the Prime Minister to ask the government to think again about making first aid education compulsory in schools.

Liz wrote to the Prime Minister last Friday in the wake of the terrorist attack on parliament which saw many members of the public including the MP Tobias Ellwood rush to help those injured.

Evidence from the British Red Cross suggests that if just CPR was taught in secondary schools around 5000 lives a year could be saved.

Liz McInnes MP says: ‘Alongside our superb emergency services, the response of those members of the public who ran to help the injured in London last Wednesday was inspiring and they deserve our deep thanks and admiration. It brought home to me the importance of basic first aid training and the difference it can make in emergency situations.

First aid knowledge can make a difference every day, not just in response to incredibly rare events like last Wednesday. Evidence from the British Red Cross shows that up to 59% of prehospital deaths from injury could have been prevented with basic first aid, and of the more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year less than 1 in 10 people survive. If we could match survival rates found in parts of Norway where CPR is routinely taught in secondary schools, we could save an additional 5,000 lives per year.

Campaigners are asking for just one hour a year to be given to first aid education. Last Thursday I asked the Leader of the House if we might revisit the debate but sadly he rejected the idea out of hand, so on Friday I wrote to the Prime Minister to ask her to consider the evidence. It is surely time for the government to think again.’

 

Full text of Liz’s letter to the Prime Minister:

Dear Prime Minister,

Emergency First Aid education in schools

As I am sure you agree, the response of our emergency services and others such as Tobias Ellwood to this week’s appalling and cowardly attack in Westminster was superb, and all those who tended to the injured deserve our deep thanks and admiration.

It is surely the case that the more members of the public who are trained in basic first aid the better. As you yourself said yesterday in parliament in response to praise for Mr Ellwood, ‘The vast majority of Members of the House would probably not have had the skills that would have enabled them to act in that way, and it is a very good message that perhaps more of us should go out and acquire those skills’.

Sadly, it is more than likely to be a matter of when not if further terrorist attacks occur, but while we may not be able to prevent every such attack in future we can make decisions now which will help us respond to such atrocities in the best way possible.

Of course it is not just in response to sudden terrorism that first aid training can help. Evidence from the British Red Cross shows that up to 59% of prehospital deaths from injury could have been prevented with basic first aid, and of the more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year less than 1 in 10 people survive. If we could match survival rates found in parts of Norway where CPR is routinely taught in secondary schools, we could save an additional 5,000 lives per year.

As you may be aware, in 2015 my colleague Teresa Pearce MP introduced a Private Members’ Bill to make first aid training a part of the national curriculum. Unfortunately the Bill was unsuccessful.

Yesterday I asked the Leader of the House if we might revisit the debate but sadly he rejected the idea out of hand. However, given the events of this week and the huge amount of evidence about the life-saving impact of compulsory first aid education, it is surely now time to think again.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Time for First Aid education to be compulsory

Liz McInnes MP has written to the Prime Minister to ask the government to think again about making first aid education compulsory in schools.

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Liz McInnes, Member of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton and Shadow Foreign Minister, has issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s terror attack in London.

 

‘Yesterday’s attack in Westminster was cowardly and vicious. My thoughts are with the families and friends of those innocent people who were killed and injured. The terrorist, whatever his precise motives prove to be, is the worst of humanity, cruel and indiscriminate. In contrast, the response to his actions by others demonstrated the very best of humanity.

PC Keith Palmer is a hero who will be remembered for giving his life so that others may live. He was a husband and a father and my heart goes out to his family. My thoughts and sincere thanks are today also with his colleagues who, as always, are bravely and professionally carrying out their duties, dedicated to protecting others.

My fellow MP Tobias Ellwood did all he could to help save PC Palmer’s life and is also, quite rightly, being hailed as a hero.

Many others acted selflessly and with incredible bravery to help the victims on Westminster Bridge and outside parliament in the moments after the attack and they each represent the best of us.

When horrific events like this occur, we must strive to remember these acts of humanity which outnumber and will outlast in every way the actions of violent cowards. We must remember those like PC Keith Palmer who when confronted with danger resist the natural urge for personal safety and instead run towards it in order to keep others from harm.

There will be those who will seek to capitalise on yesterday’s events and to sow division in our country, but that would be exactly what those who use terror as a tool would want us to do. I believe that our democracy and our way of life is stronger than the power of any terrorist. The terrorists will only succeed if we ourselves retreat into hatred and division. We must remember and uphold the very values the terrorists would seek to destroy – tolerance, compassion, freedom and democracy.

At times of crisis such as this it is more important than ever that we unite as one to remember those values and the very best of humanity, as so clearly demonstrated by PC Palmer and others.’

Statement regarding the London terror attack

Liz McInnes, Member of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton and Shadow Foreign Minister, has issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s terror attack in London.  

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This week I have formally submitted my response to the consultation regarding proposed changes to the school funding formula.

On behalf of the many headteachers who have contacted me and who are deeply worried about the impact of the proposals, I made the following submission:

'Schools in Greater Manchester are set to lose almost £175 million in real terms by 2019 if the proposed changes to the funding formula go ahead. 86 headteachers from across Great Manchester have written a joint letter to the Prime Minister to highlight their serious concerns about the impact of the proposals on teaching and learning in their schools and I am sure that many more will have submitted individual responses to this consultation. 

In recent weeks I have been contacted by headteachers in my constituency who are desperately worried about the impact of these huge cuts.

Indicative modelling prepared by Rochdale Council and based on current pupil data shows that Primary and Secondary schools in our borough face a loss of £1.8 million, however this is exacerbated by the already rising cost pressures schools are facing. Over the past few years the funding for schools collectively has remained flat and schools have been required to absorb these rising costs. National teaching unions have estimated that these pressures could mean the actual cost to Rochdale schools of the new funding proposals is around £16 million.

In the words of one Primary school headteacher who contacted me:

‘Schools like mine will be forced into deficits or to make devastating cuts to the quality of our provision and as a result children will fail in learning and also in their development, as well as devastating ‘early help’. There are no more efficiencies that we can find, having done all that already, so I know that the next round of cuts will affect teaching and learning. As this is our core purpose I am extremely concerned. The changes to the Early Years funding formula also affects us so we are significantly damaged by this proposal.’

I urge the government to think again about the proposals and to listen to the headteachers and governors who know best how their schools and their pupils will be affected and who have serious, legitimate concerns about the impact of these changes.'

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Response to school funding consultation

This week I have formally submitted my response to the consultation regarding proposed changes to the school funding formula.

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