Allergy UK, in association with leading experts in allergy and health education, are collaborating to provide practical support for schools by launching the first phase of new educational resources to help schools create whole-school allergy policies.
The national charity is involved in a Whole-School Allergy Awareness & Management Collaboration, which aims to help schools to use clinical guidelines for allergy management in schools and implement policy effectively.
With 50% of children now suffering from some form of allergy, the national charity understands the challenges that schools face when it comes to managing allergic conditions.
Amena Warner, Nurse Advisor at Allergy UK, comments: “We are aware of the pressures schools face, but also the growing parental concern about keeping allergic children safe in school. There is a solid base of clinical guidance and legislation available, but the Collaboration aims to translate this complex guidance into a user-friendly format that schools can access and implement with ease.”
The resources, housed within a dedicated schools section of the Allergy UK website, include real-life case studies, a self-audit to assess how prepared a school is, Frequently Asked Questions, as well as expert advice.
The site pages have been developed to support educational staff in developing effective policies around caring for children with allergic conditions such as anaphylaxis. By completing the self-audit, schools will be able to assess their current practices, gain advice and see how they can improve procedures. Education providers can also sign up for a brand new toolkit, which is being developed in 2016.
Warner continues: “We know that implementing new allergy policy guidelines can be a daunting prospect for schools, which is why we believe these resources will be invaluable. We want to provide the practical support and advice that school staff need.”
Jennette Higgs, Registered Dietitian and Director Foodtofit Ltd, project lead for the Collaboration comments: “This project is about taking the clinical guidelines into schools and facilitating development of effective whole school allergy aware policies. Utilising the expertise of the Health Education Trust, we’re working with case study schools to develop much needed resources and help schools implement effective practices. I’d like to thank Allergy UK for their vision and commitment to this project which, through the site pages is enabling schools to benefit now, whilst we progress the case studies”
The Whole-School Allergy Awareness & Management Collaboration plans to launch a new toolkit next year, after trialling procedures via the case studies. It is looking to recruit more schools early in 2016 and any interested schools can make contact via the website.