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Administration of medicine in schools and early learning and childcare settings

Any child or young person at school in Scotland may require healthcare support or the administration of medication. Healthcare support or medication may be required for the management of short or long term conditions or in response to an emergency situation, such as an allergic reaction.

Schools may not be able to accede to all requests for assistance from parents. The headteacher will have the final decision on whether a request can be reasonably met. 

It is important that schools have clear guidelines in relation to administration of medication and that parents, carers, staff and young people are aware of these guidelines.  This guidance is to help schools to develop effective management systems to support individual child or young persons with healthcare needs and enable them to play a full part in the life of the school.

Following updated Scottish Government guidance for schools on the use of emergency medicines, including Salbutamol Inhalers and Adrenaline-Auto Injectors (AAIs), Education and Children's Services have reviewed procedures regarding the administration of medication in schools and ELC settings.

  • Asthma: Parents are asked to ensure that the school is provided with a labelled spare reliever inhaler. The school will hold this separately in case the child or young person's own inhaler runs out, is lost or forgotten.
  • Anaphylaxis allergic reaction: Children and young people should have two Adrenaline Auto-Injectors (AAIs) available at all times. This is particularly important for people who also have allergic asthma as they are at increased risk of a severe anaphylactic reaction.

The guidance states that two prescribed emergency devices (inhaler or AAI) should be available at all times.