EQUIPPING schools with life saving defibrillators is set to be top of the agenda for head teachers across Southampton.
The move comes in response to the Daily Echo’s campaign to ensure that all schools have access to the device that was used to save the life of Hampshire pupil Sam Mangoro after he collapsed from a heart attack during a PE lesson.
As exclusively revealed the swift action of staff at Mountbatten School in Romsey, who were trained in using the defibrillator, was credited with saving the life of 16-year-old Sam, who is recovering in hospital.
The Daily Echo launched a campaign to ensure all schools are equipped with defibrillators and that staff are trained in how to use them.
Now Peter Edgar, education boss for Hampshire County Council and Southampton schools chief Dan Jeffrey have pledged their support for the campaign.
Although the decision on whether or not to purchase a defibrillator and have staff trained is a matter for individual schools the education bosses said they would do everything they could to encourage headteachers and governors to consider it.
Cllr Jeffery said although he could not order schools to get the equipment he wanted the matter on the agendas of the next meetings of secondary and primary school heads, adding: “I would very much want the subject discussed by head teachers, to look into getting a defibrillator.
“By having it on the agenda we will be able to see what the response is and look at whether there are any barriers to getting them and, if there are, see what can be done about getting around those issues.”
Cllr Edgar said: “Although this is a matter for individual schools to decide as a former teacher I do support the Echo campaign.
“When there is a serious incident in a school there is usually a review by the school to see what lessons can be learnt and what best practice can be shared. “The Echo campaign has effectively helped raise awareness in the community of this life saving process.”
Sam’s dad Michael Mangoro said he was pleased education bosses were backing the Daily Echo’s campaign, adding: “I know council’s cannot force schools to get defibrillators but if they are encouraging them that is a very good step.”