Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition in children and young people (CYP) in the UK. Around 1 in 11 CYP are living with asthma every day and poor control can not only impact physical health but also psychological health and educational attainment. A child with poorly controlled asthma is three times more likely to take time off school than a child whose condition is well controlled.

Asthma can be fatal, however 1 in 6 people in the UK do not know this or are unsure if the condition can be fatal. Every 18 minutes a child is admitted to hospital with asthma, and 30% of children with asthma report having missed school because of it. Thus, asthma affects physical and mental health as well as educational attainment. In Devon alone, there are thought to be around 23,000 children living with asthma or suspected to have asthma.

Asthma Friendly Schools

As part of efforts to reduce harm to children, NHS England has released a National Bundle of Care for Children and Young People with Asthma. Part of this includes promotion of the Asthma Friendly Schools initiative. Achieving Asthma Friendly School status will support the health and wellbeing of pupils with asthma, including their educational attainment through improved attendance and school engagement. Becoming an Asthma Friendly School is achieved by meeting six standards through a whole-school approach, and includes: 

Schools will already be undertaking much of this approach and the locally developed guidance can be used to support schools in ensuring standards are met. The guidance includes templated letters to parents, asthma registers, and other resources. NHS Devon are available to support schools in becoming asthma friendly, please get in touch:

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