The policy as outlined was put in place to;
- Safeguard school staff that are willing to administer medication
- Ensure the strictest guidelines and controls are in place and that clear instructions are available to staff
- Protect against possible litigation
Relationship to School Ethos:
The school promotes positive home-school contacts, not only in relation to the welfare of children, but in relation to all aspects of school life. This policy is in keeping with the school ethos through the provision of a safe, secure and caring school environment and the furthering of positive home-school links.
Aims of this Policy:
The aims and objectives of the policy can be summarised as follows;
- Minimise health risks to children and staff on the school premises
- Fulfill the duty of the BoM in relation to Health and Safety requirements
- Provide a framework within which medicines may be administered in cases of emergency or in instances where regularised administration has been agreed with parents/guardians
In –School Procedures:
Parents are required to complete a Health/Medication form when enrolling their child/ren in the school. No teacher is obliged to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil and any teacher willing to do so works under the controlled guidelines outlined below.
- Prescribed medicines will only be administered after parents of the pupil concerned have written to the BoM requesting the Board to authorise a member of the teaching staff to do so. Under no circumstance will non-prescribed medicines be either stored or administered in the school. The Board will seek indemnity from parents in respect of any liability arising from the administration of medicines
- The school generally advocates the self administration (e.g. inhalers) of medicine under the supervision of a responsible adult, exercising the standard of care of a prudent parent. No medicines are stored on the school premises. A small quantity of prescription drugs will be stored in the Administration Office if a child requires self-administering on a daily basis and parents have requested storage facilities. Parents are responsible for the provision of medication and notification of change of dosage
In the event of an emergency, teachers should do no more than is necessary and appropriate to relieve extreme distress or prevent further and otherwise irreparable harm. Qualified medical treatment should be secured in emergencies at the earliest opportunity.
Where no qualified medical treatment is available, and circumstances warrant immediate medical attention, designated staff members may take a child into Accident and Emergency without delay. Parents will be contacted simultaneously.
In addition, parents must ensure that teachers are made aware in writing of any medical condition which their child is suffering from. For example children who are epileptics, diabetics etc. may have a seizure at any time and teachers must be made aware of symptoms in order to ensure that treatment may be given by appropriate persons.
Written details are required from the parents/guardians outlining the child’s personal details, name of medication, prescribed dosage, whether the child is capable of self-administration and the circumstances under which the medication is to be given. Parents should also outline clearly proper procedures for children who require medication for life threatening conditions.
The school maintains an up to date register of contact details of all parents/guardians including emergency numbers. This is updated in September of each new school year.
First Aid Boxes:
A first aid box is kept in the staff room containing anti-septic wipes, anti-septic bandages, sprays, steri-strips, cotton wool, scissors etc. A full medical kit is taken when children are engaged in out of school activities such as tours, football/hurling games and athletic activities.
We recommend that any child who shows signs of illness should be kept at home; requests from parents to keep their children in at lunch break are not encouraged. A child too sick to play with peers should not be in school.
The BoM is at present considering including an Accident and Emergency Consent form in the General Medical form completed by each parent on the enrolment of their child.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The BoM has overall responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of the school policy on Administration of Medication. The Principal is the day to day manager of routines contained in the policy with the assistance of all staff members. The Assistant Principal is the Safety Officer and the maintenance and replenishment of First Aid Boxes is a post of responsibility within the middle management structure in the school.
The effectiveness of the school policy in its present form is measured by the following criteria;
- Compliance with Health and Safety legislation
- Maintaining a safe and caring environment for children
- Positive feedback from parents/teachers
- Ensuring the primary responsibility for administering remains with parents/guardians