Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Education

New protocol for student safety in schools

A new protocol with more detailed guidelines for crisis and injury management by the health and safety committee of the education ministry will be enforced immediately in all primary and secondary schools, the ministry said on Friday.

Education minister Costas Hambiaouris visited the educational facilities of Polis Chysochous on Friday, and addressed the new protocol in his discussion with the local school authorities, noting that it is the result of the recent dialogue with parent groups and education organisations.

The protocol also comes after an urgent need arose for common a response strategy across all schools following the death of 10-year-old Stavros Giorgallis after an accident while at school in Alethriko, Larnaca in May.

“The new protocol will not mark a radical transformation to health and safety procedures in schools, as a similar one was already being enforced,” the chairman of the health and safety committee, Elias Markadjis, told the Cyprus Mail on Friday.

“Rather, the new version is the result of a closer cooperation with the health ministry, and provides more complete and detailed guidelines of the procedure to be followed,” Markadjis added.

The protocol, signed by the principals of all primary, secondary, and technical schools, outlines four action steps in cases relating to the injury of a student, aiming to create a common response system to such incidents.

According to the protocol, “in cases where a student is seriously injured or has even lost consciousness, an ambulance must be called immediately”.

The four action steps to be taken in cases of serious injury are listed in the protocol: relief efforts and first aid must be administered by a competent teacher, then an ambulance must be called before informing the child’s guardian, and finally the school management must be informed so that a detailed report on the incident may be prepared.

In cases of less serious injuries, the first and third steps must be carried out, namely the provision of relief and first aid and the informing of the student’s guardian, who is then responsible for deciding whether the child must be given professional medical care.

The same procedure is followed for cases occurring outside school grounds, the protocol clarifies.

In cases of doubt regarding the necessary steps to be taken, the protocol notes that the four-step action plan for serious injuries must be followed.

To ensure that incidents are managed effectively, the protocol suggests that each school draws up its own action plan at the beginning of the school year, which will list the members of the school staff responsible for dealing with cases of serious injury and sickness.

The final version of the protocol will be implemented immediately, while the aim of the parties involved is to keep the protocol updated according to any new and unforeseen situations that arise.

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