Allergy UK launches the new Schools Allergy Action Group (SAAG) Toolkit
The 2019 Spring Allergy Awareness Week sees the launch of Allergy UK’s new Schools Allergy Action Group programme (SAAG) toolkit, a free, easy to use interactive programme to empower secondary schools in the UK to improve the care and wellbeing of pupils living with allergy.
The increasing numbers of schoolchildren with allergic disease is presenting schools with a major challenge around how to make school life for these pupils as safe as possible and secondary school aged children are the group at highest risk of a severe allergic reaction.
Recent research conducted by Allergy UK and launched this week suggests that:
- 76% of parents of children with allergy feel that more needs to be done to safeguard their children at school and
- 85% of parents worry that their child will come into contact with allergens whilst at school.
The Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on schools to support pupils with medical conditions. Allergy UK’s SAAG toolkit aims to equip schools with the knowledge and awareness to allow pupils to feel safe and supported at school.
The seven-step programme guides schools through the development of an effective whole-school allergy management policy. This free toolkit and supporting resources reflect European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) guidance on supporting pupils with allergic conditions in school and EU legislation on food labelling. The programme involves senior management teams, school nurses, teachers, caterers, pupils, parents and governors in the whole school allergy management policy development and in the ongoing work needed to ensure that its implementation is effective and consistent. The added benefit of the SAAG approach is to equip people with an awareness and understanding of allergy that can be carried forward as a life skill.
Allergy UK CEO Carla Jones says: “We are delighted to provide this new digital resource to help schools work towards a policy that will benefit children with allergies during their school time. We know that parents worry about the risks their children face in their day to day lives and SAAG has been designed to help schools towards a better understanding of their allergic pupils’ needs. We have designed this free toolkit to be as user-friendly as possible and we offer support to schools as they work through the stages towards an allergy management policy that will build confidence for the school management team and for their allergic pupils.”