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Asthma UK Scotland has been campaigning for many years to improve asthma care and awareness in schools. We have spoken to many MSPs on this issue and had several meetings with the Scottish Government. We worked with the Scottish Government on the Administration of Medicines in Schools guidance.

However it is still the case that children are not getting the care they require at school and are being excluded from school activities because of their asthma.

In the 2009 Asthma UK report “Missing Out” we found that—

• 87% of children with asthma had missed at least one day of school because of their asthma
• 49% had problems joining in with general lessons
• 48% had problems going on school trips
• 73% had issues when joining PE lessons.

More needs to be done to ensure that children with asthma are not being excluded.

The Scottish Government has worked with us and NHS Quality Improvement Scotland to develop standards for children’s care e.g. Asthma services for children and young people (2007) which have been effective.

However no NHS board succeeded in meeting the standard (www.nhshealthquality.org/nhsqis/4971.html) and more has to be done to ensure that children with asthma are safe at school.

Asthma training for teachers should be much more widespread and inspection should include the way schools care for children with health conditions. We have received funding to carry out work in schools including teacher training and peer support but this money is time limited and our capacity means only a fraction of schools can be reached. There must be a clear commitment from the Scottish Government to extend this work so that children can be safe and do not suffer exclusion due to their condition. We recently met with officials in the Scottish Government who stated that it was unable to continue funding this project.

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