Owenabue Educate Together National School is a co-educational primary school under the

patronage of Educate Together. It operates according to the rules for national schools,

laid down by the Department of Education and Skills.

In line with our Educate Together ethos, we aim to provide a happy, secure environment

where children, parents, teachers, ancillary staff and the Board of Management work in

partnership; where each individual is valued, encouraged and respected for their


The Board of Management and the staff are committed to providing the best possible

education and care for its pupils and will always respond to the needs of a child if that

child becomes ill or is injured while in the care of the school. Some children may have

long-term health care needs that require on-going medication to allow them to access

education. We are committed to supporting children in this situation and to facilitating

their participation in school life. If administration of medication is required to facilitate

a fully inclusive environment every effort will be made to accommodate children’s

needs in line with the provisions below.

This policy was drafted through a collaborative school process and will be implemented

in accordance with other policies in use in the school.


The policy as outlined was put in place to: 

  • Clarify areas of responsibility
  • Give clear guidance about situations when it is appropriate to administer


  • Indicate the limitations to any requirements which may be notified to teachers

and school staff

  • Safeguard school staff that are willing to administer medication
  • 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;

  • To promote attendance of pupils at school
  • To minimise health risks to children and staff on the school premises
  • To fulfil the duty of the BoM in relation to Health and Safety requirements
  • To 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

Definition of First Aid

For the purposes of this policy, “first aid” shall mean the;

  • treatment of minor injury (e.g. cuts, sprains and bruises) or
  • treatment of a life-threatening situation pending professional medical help

The object of first aid in a school situation is not to cure the injured person, but to

ensure, as far as possible that the injury or illness is not worsened before professional

help is obtained as required. School staff should not hesitate to act in an emergency.

Other adults on duty should automatically assist any member of school staff in the case

of a serious injury.

Designated First Aid Co-ordinator

The Board of Management will designate a first aid co-ordinator who must complete a

recognised training course at least every 2 years and has been certified as competent by

a recognised occupational first aid instructor. It is the responsibility of the designated

first aid co-ordinator to

  • oversee the administration of first aid in the school
  • inform the members of the school staff of the first aid arrangements, including

the locations of equipment, facilities and first aid personnel

  • ensure the adequate stocking of and availability of first aid equipment
  • ensure that an ambulance or other professional medical assistance is called when


Staff who agree to act as additional designated first aid officers do so on a voluntary



The first aid box is located in the office. All school staff will be made aware of this

location. The contents of such boxes are replenished when deemed necessary by the


Minor Accident/Injury

On occasion, children are injured in an accident in the school. This usually happens in

the schoolyard when children are playing. The teacher on yard duty initially looks after

the injured child. If deemed necessary, the child will be taken to a First Aider. No

medicines are to be administered but cuts are to be cleaned, plasters (latex free) or

bandages applied as deemed appropriate. The use of latex free plastic gloves is advised

at all times.

More Serious Accidents/Injuries

If considered safe to do so, the injured person is taken to a designated quiet area. The

parent(s) or guardian(s) will be informed immediately, particularly if there is a

suspicion of broken bones, head or eye injuries. The child is kept under observation

until the parent(s) or guardian(s) arrive, with the emphasis on making the child as

comfortable and settled as possible.

Head Injuries

A head injury is considered to be any injury that occurs above the neck. Due to the

difficulty in ascertaining how serious a bump to the head is, parents are always

contacted if a child receives a head injury. If it is considered to be a serious injury, the

parent(s) or guardian(s) are contacted by phone as soon as possible and, as above, the

child is kept under observation with the emphasis on making the child as comfortable

and settled as possible. If the injury is not considered to be serious, the parent(s) or

guardian(s) are contacted by text so that they are aware to keep an eye on the child.

Very Serious Injuries

In the event of a very serious injury, if the considered opinion of the staff is that

immediate professional help is required, an ambulance is to be called. The parent(s) or

guardian(s) will be contacted immediately.

Urgent first aid to preserve life or prevent further serious injury shall be administered,

the injured person shall be kept immobile and comfortable until a qualified medical

professional such as a doctor, nurse or ambulance attendee can take over management

of the situation.

On rare occasions a school staff may agree that taking the child to Accident &

Emergency in a taxi is a more prudent option. Parent(s) or guardian(s) are to be kept

informed of developing situations.

Record Keeping

All serious accidents/injuries are recorded in the Accident Report Book, which is

located in the office. There is a single Accident Report Book which covers all children

in the school. The Accident Report Book lists the date and time of the accident, nature

of injuries, a brief description of the circumstance of the accident, procedures followed

by staff etc.

Very serious injuries will be notified to the school’s insurers – Special Incident Report


In the case of serious injury to a staff member, the Health and Safety Authority will be

informed in accordance with HSA guidelines. This will also be notified to the school’s


Minor Illnesses

A child who is ill and unfit to attend school would normally be kept at home until fully

recovered. Occasionally, children become ill at school and the class teacher or principal

will arrange for the parent(s) or guardian(s) to be contacted to bring the child home. In

an emergency situation qualified medical help will be sought for the child.


Parents are requested to notify the school about any allergies from which their child

suffers. This question is asked on the initial Enrolment Form and parents and guardians

are reminded each September of the need to fill out a Medical Information Form if

necessary. Photos of children with serious allergies and relevant information regarding

the treatment of these children are kept in a folder which all staff and substitutes are

made aware of regularly. This folder is kept with the first aid supplies.

Chronic Health Conditions

The Board of Management and the school are committed to ensuring the safety of

pupils with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy or anaphylaxis.

The parent(s) or guardian(s) have primary responsibility for their child’s health and, on

enrolment, must provide the school, in writing, with any relevant medical information.

Parents are obliged to inform the school if there is a change in their child’s medical

needs, if there has been a change to the child’s medication or if a new diagnosis is

received. This can be done by completing the Medical Information Form. This medical

information should be updated annually or as often as necessary.

The Board of Management will ensure that teachers are made aware of any students in

their care who have medical conditions. The Board of Management will provide for

training in the administration of emergency medication for specific conditions, where


In line with the resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills, the

school will make all efforts to ensure that all pupils with chronic conditions can

participate in all aspects of the curriculum and the provision of appropriate adjustments

as necessary.

Responsibility for Administration of Medication

No staff member can be required to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil. Any staff

member who is willing to administer medicines should only do so under strictly controlled

guidelines, fully confident that the administration will be safe.

A staff member who takes responsibility for administering medicines also takes on a

heavy legal duty of care to discharge the responsibility correctly. Every reasonable

precaution must be taken. Clear instructions about medicines requiring regular 

administration must be obtained and strictly followed. 

The following procedures will apply:

  • The parent(s) or guardian(s) of the pupil concerned must write to the Board of

Management requesting the authorisation of a member of the school staff to

administer the medication.

  • The request must also contain written instructions of the procedure to be

followed in administering the medication. The parent(s) or guardian(s) must

outline clearly what can and cannot be done in a particular emergency situation,

with particular reference to what may be a risk to the child.

  • The Board of Management, having considered the matter, may authorise a

teacher to administer medication to a pupil. If the teacher is so authorised, she/he

should be properly instructed by the Board of Management.

  • It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that all necessary medication is

brought into the school and is clearly labelled with pupil’s name, name of the

medication, dosage and frequency of the medication, expiry date of the


  • It is also the responsibility of the parent or guardian to check the expiry date of

the medication and to appropriately dispose of out-of-date medication. Any

medication requiring refrigeration must be sent into school in an airtight

container clearly labelled with the details set out above.

  • A staff member will not administer medication without the specific authorisation

of the Board of Management.

  • In administering medication to pupils, staff members will exercise the standard

of care of a reasonable and prudent parent or guardian.

  • The Board of Management will inform the school’s insurers accordingly.
  • The Board of Management will seek an indemnity from the parent(s) or

guardian(s) in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration

of the medication.

  • A written record of the date and time of administration must be kept by the

person administering it.

  • Emergency medication will be brought on all school trips and to other activities

off the school premises.

Parent(s) or guardians(s) should ensure that these procedures are clearly understood

before submitting any request for the administration of medication to the Board of

Management. Where the above procedure is put in place the Board of Management will

give consideration to authorising another member of staff to administer the medication

in the event that the regular staff member is not available.

Criteria in Considering a Medication Request

When considering an administration of medication request from parent(s) or

guardian(s), the Board of Management will consider the request using the following


  • Are procedures, in line with the INTO guidelines, followed when the parent(s)

or guardian(s) make a request to the Board of Management that a staff member

administer medication?

  • What categories of medication may staff administer and under what conditions?
  • Where a pupil has a specific medical condition, are members of the school staff

aware of the likely symptoms of an attack/illness for that pupil?

  • Where medication might be required, has training in the administration of

medication been provided to school staff to deal with such circumstances?

  • What arrangements are made when the member of school staff designated to

administer the medication is absent?

  • Who will administer the medication in an emergency?
  • What safety precautions are needed for staff members? e.g. Has/have the staff

members received clear instructions from the parent(s) or guardian(s) or more

suitably qualified person as to exactly how and when the medication is to be


  • Has the indemnity form been completed?
  • How is school staff informed of medication administration arrangements from

year to year?

  • How is safe storage and access to medication ensured?
  • Are up to date contact details of parent(s) or guardian(s) available?
  • Are emergency numbers available?
  • How often is this particular case reviewed?

Non-Prescription Medications

Children are not permitted to carry non-prescription medications in school such as, but

not limited to, cough mixtures, painkillers (paracetamol or ibuprofen) and

antihistamines and these will not be administered to pupils.

If found such medications will be placed in a secure place in the office and parent(s) or guardian(s) will be contacted.

Safe disposal of medications

Parent(s) or guardian(s) must ensure that an adult collects out-of-date medication. Used

Adrenalin auto injectors (Anapens) must be given to the attending ambulance crew.

Disposal of Sharps

Sharps boxes must be used for the safe disposal of needles. (A sharps box is a small

yellow plastic container with a protective lid that is used for the disposal of used

needles). The parent(s) or guardian(s) must provide the school with a sharps box. All

sharps boxes in this school will be stored in a locked cupboard when not in use unless

alternative safe and secure arrangements are put in place on a case- by-case basis.

If a sharps box is needed on an off-site or residential visit, a named member of staff will

be responsible for its safe storage and will return it to school or the student’s parent(s)

or guardian(s). The parent(s) or guardian(s) must arrange collection and disposal of

sharps boxes.

General Recommendations

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.

Roles and Responsibilities

The BoM has overall responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of the school

policy on First Aid and the Administration of Medicines.

The Principal is the day to day manager of routines contained in the policy with the

assistance of all staff members.

Parents have a responsibility to keep the school informed of all relevant medical

information and to provide up-to-date emergency contact numbers.

Success Criteria

  • The effectiveness of the school policy in its present form is measured by the following


  • 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