Developing a Model Policy for Allergy at School
Around 5-8% of children in the UK live with a food allergy, and most school classrooms will have at least one allergic pupil. These young people are at risk of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction which requires an immediate emergency response. 20% of severe allergic reactions to food happen whilst a child is at school, and these reactions can occur in children with no prior history of food allergy. It is essential that staff recognise the signs of an allergic reaction and are able to manage it safely and effectively.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign and Allergy UK have worked with the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) and the Medical Conditions in Schools Alliance, supported by the Department for Education (DfE), to develop this Model Policy for Allergy at School guide. It has been designed to support schools to develop a ‘Gold Standard’ policy to manage children’s allergies safely, so that children and their parents feel reassured that a robust policy is in place. The Model Policy for Allergy at School draws on lessons learnt from Prevention of Future Deaths reports where children have sadly died as a consequence of anaphylaxis while they are at school.
The Model Policy for Allergy at School, which includes an example of a comprehensive working policy has been reviewed by Professor Adam Fox, Paediatric Allergist at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals, London, Dr Paul Turner, MRC Clinician Scientist in Paediatric Allergy & Immunology at Imperial College and the BSACI Standards of Care Group.