Asthma Friendly Schools Praised

Schools in the Wakefield district have been praised for becoming ‘asthma friendly’ and helping pupils stay healthy and avoid missing school.

Six schools were awarded certificates at an event at Wakefield Council’s Town Hall, to recognise their commitment to being safe and inclusive places, where there is understanding and support for asthma management. Information, training, and support is offered to pupils, parents, carers, and school staff.

Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition in children in the UK, with around 1 in 11 children and young people affected.

Raising awareness of managing the breathing condition in schools also aims to help reduce unplanned hospital visits and prevent children from missing out on their schooling.

Councillor Margaret Isherwood, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “Congratulations to all the schools that have signed up to be ‘asthma friendly’ in our district.”

“Our schools are supported by expert teams, and it was great to hear about the work they are all doing to help pupils with asthma, to promote better understanding of the condition, and help children to get the most out of their education.”

Libby Holroyd, Clinical Nurse Specialist for children’s asthma at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Asthma affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood. There are simple ways to keep this condition controlled and it is important that a child has a good support network to do this.”

“The asthma friendly school’s initiative has introduced ways in which a child can be supported whilst under the care of school. The schools signed up to the pledge now have ‘asthma champions’ and trained staff who can identify the symptoms of asthma and create a controlled environment, by having spare labelled rescue inhalers and spacers in school, alongside an asthma policy and asthma registers for each child affected.”

Wakefield now has 36 Schools that have completed self-assessment- more than anywhere else in West Yorkshire and are continuing to work towards achieving asthma friendly status

The initiative builds on the work already undertaken across Wakefield by 0-19 Services and Paediatric Respiratory teams over many years, delivered by school nurses with the support of the Paediatric Asthma Nurses team at Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospital Trust.