Schools and Children’s education and care project
Australia is a leader in its approach to the prevention and management of anaphylaxis in Schools and Children's education and care (CEC). However, a review of policies and guidelines across Australian states and territories indicated that developing Best Practice Guidelines and supporting resources would help to reduce inconsistencies in anaphylaxis prevention and management.
Based on stakeholder engagement, this project will initially develop Best Practice Guidelines for the prevention and managment of anaphylaxis in schools and children's education and care (CEC) services. Supporting resources will also be developed to help support the school and CEC sectors in implementing the Best Practice Guidelines.
Three key phases of consultation have been undertaken:
Phase 1 – Engagement with key schools and CEC stakeholders
Phase 2 – Engagement with schools and CEC staff and parents/care givers via national online surveys
Phase 3 – Final key schools and CEC stakeholder engagement
Image: Attendees of the minimum standards for schools and CEC stakeholder meeting held in Sydney in February 2020.
For further information
The Best Practice Guidelines and supporting resources
The National Allergy Strategy Best practice guidelines for anaphylaxis prevention and management in schools and children’s education and care (CEC) services (Guidelines) were launched on 7 October 2021 via a virtual launch.
The Guidelines have been developed to provide consistent, evidence-based best practice guidance for staff in school and CEC services, and parents. The Guidelines and associated supporting resources will reduce the risk of anaphylaxis in schools and CEC services while supporting children to participate in the full range of activities.
To help schools and CEC services to meet the recommendations of the Guidelines, several supporting resources have been created. The supporting resources are designed to help schools and CEC services consider site specific issues relating to anaphylaxis prevention and management and put into place appropriate strategies to allow children at risk of anaphylaxis to safely participate fully in school and CEC service activities.
The following supporting resources have been created for schools:
- Best practice guidelines for anaphylaxis prevention and management in schools
- Anaphylaxis management checklist for schools
- Examples of anaphylaxis risk minimisation strategies for schools
- Anaphylaxis risk management plan template for schools
- Sample anaphylaxis policy for schools
- Individualised anaphylaxis care plan template for schools
- Sample communication to the school community
- Anaphylaxis incident reporting template
The following supporting resources have been developed for CEC services:
- Best practice guidelines for anaphylaxis prevention and management in CEC
- Anaphylaxis management checklist for CEC
- Examples of anaphylaxis risk minimisation strategies for CEC
- Anaphylaxis risk management plan template for CEC
- Sample anaphylaxis management policy for CEC
- Individualised anaphylaxis care plan template for CEC
- Sample communication to the CEC community
- Anaphylaxis incident reporting template for CEC
- Food allergy record template for CEC
The National Allergy Strategy also recently released All about Allergens for Schools and All about Allergens for CEC – these are food allergen management training courses designed to help schools and CEC services to provide appropriate food to children and staff with food allergies.
To make accessing the Guidelines and supporting resources easier, the National Allergy Strategy has created an Allergy Aware resource hub – www.allergyaware.org.au
The Allergy Aware resource hub also includes easy access to:
- National and state and territory existing legislation, procedures and guidelines which schools and CEC services are required to be compliant with.
- Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) resources for schools and CEC services.
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) resources for schools and CEC services.
As part of the National Allergy Strategy School and CEC project, the National Allergy Strategy has supported a recent update of the ASCIA anaphylaxis e-training for schools and CEC and the development of a new ASCIA anaphylaxis refresher e-training course. These courses are consistent with and support the recommendations within the Guidelines regarding staff training. They are also available free of charge.
The Guidelines recommend schools provide age-appropriate education of students with allergies and their peers to manage risks in school settings. For this reason, the National Allergy Strategy has supported the update of the A&AA allergy awareness curriculum resources to align with the guideline recommendations and the new national curriculum. Curriculum resources for both primary and secondary schools are available free of charge for schools to use.
Other important resources developed through this project and released early this year are the ‘How to position a person having anaphylaxis’ and ‘How to safely remove ticks’ animations.
The National Allergy Strategy would like to thank the following people who have engaged with the National Allergy Strategy to help develop the Guidelines and supporting resources:
- The National Allergy Strategy Co-chairs - Dr Preeti Joshi and Ms Maria Said for their overall guidance and support with the launch.
- The Project Co-leads – Dr Merryn Netting and Dr Wendy Norton who helped to guide this project.
- The many stakeholders who attended meetings and provided feedback on draft documents.
- School and CEC service staff who completed the national online survey.
- The parents/guardians who completed the national online survey.
We look forward to continuing to work with the school and CEC sectors, policy makers and parents/guardians to support the implementation of the best practice guidelines.
Content updated October 2021