School children are to be taught basic life-saving skills and first aid under a government plan for health education to be provided in every school.

Under the proposals all secondary school leavers will be taught how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, to know the purpose of defibrillators and to give basic first aid treatment for common injuries.

The plans, due to be rolled out in 2020, have been described by The British Heart Foundation (BHF) as a decisive moment in attempts to improve on the less than 10% survival rate for people in the UK who go into cardiac arrest while not in hospital.

In countries that teach CPR in schools, survival rates are more than double those of Britain.

It is hoped that by introducing life-saving skills into schools it will give young people the knowledge and confidence to know they can step in to help someone else in need.

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