Springfield Infant School and Nursery in Worthing has been presented with the first asthma friendly school award in the county.

The Sussex-based accreditation aims to encourage, educate and support schools to be proactive at managing asthma and provide staff with training and awareness sessions.

Edwina Wooler, NHS Sussex clinical lead for children and young people with asthma, said: “During the autumn term we often see a larger number of children at GP practices and A&E departments in Sussex with asthma symptoms.



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“Around ten per cent of children have asthma and not controlling their symptoms may lead to them missing out on physical activity during the school day and having to take time off from school altogether. But, by being supported both at home and at school to proactively manage their asthma, children do not need to miss out.”

To become an asthma-friendly school, schools must have a register and management plan for all children with asthma; a named lead for asthma; the correct policies in place; and a system for identifying children who are missing school because of their asthma or who are not partaking in sports or other activities due to their asthma. The school must also show that their staff have undertaken additional training in asthma awareness and management.

Springfield’s headteacher Becky Wycherley said: “We are delighted to have achieved the asthma-friendly school award and it is a huge honour to be the first in Sussex.

“The staff at Springfield are experienced and well-trained to care for all our children with asthma.  We know our children well and can recognise signs and triggers, we work with parents to put plans in place to ensure they are given the right care and support to be able to be independent and lead a healthy active life.

“At Springfield 14 per cent of our children have asthma which is higher than the national average of ten per cent. Our attendance levels are above the national average helped in part by our asthma management in school.

“I would encourage other schools to do the same to support young children with asthma to prevent it being a barrier to learning.”

Several more schools across Sussex are currently undergoing training and are being supported by the team at NHS Sussex to become asthma-friendly schools.

“Our aim is for all schools in Sussex to become asthma friendly,” said Ms Wooler.