Schools Allergy Code launched to support pupils with food allergies

Posted: 23 November 2023 | | No comments yet

The Allergy Team, Benedict Blythe Foundation and ISBA have launched the Schools Allergy Code, the UK’s first code of practise aimed at keeping pupils with allergies safer at school.

school children

Joining forces, the Benedict Blythe Foundation, the Independent Schools’ Bursar Association (ISBA) and The Allergy Team have launched the School Allergy Code, UK’s first code of practise aimed at keeping pupils living with food hypersensitivity safer at school.

Currently, up to eight percent of children in the UK live with food allergies, something that affects one or two children in every class of 30, but with doctors claiming that the UK lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to managing allergies in school, leaving pupils at risk of life-threatening allergic reactions.

But, in practise, how will the Schools Allergy Code support children living with food allergies? The code of practise itself and its associated checklist are made up of free resources that cover awareness, emergency response protocol, training and policies. 

For schools in the UK that want to showcase their commitment to “good allergy management”, applications can be made to join a Register held by The Allergy Team. In this, schools will be assessed and awarded a trust mark if they meet the criteria set out in the Code.

What’s more, families will be able to search for schools on the Register, allowing them to understand  and have confidence that these schools meet the standards of allergy management set out in the Code.

Commenting on the new Code, Sarah Knight, Founder of The Allergy Team says: “Knowing that a school meets the criteria set out in the Schools Allergy Code will give parents huge confidence when choosing a school for a child with allergies.

Episode 43: Living with food allergies – Part Two

“To join the Register and display the trust mark, schools will be assessed, this ensures they don’t just pay lip-service to the Code but put it into practice, with buy-in from the whole school community.”

Involved in the creation of the pioneering Schools Allergy Code, the Benedict Blythe Foundation is an organisation founded in memory of five-year-old Benedict Blythe who died following an allergic reaction at school. The Foundation is committed to campaigning for inclusive and safe schools for pupils with allergy.

“Too many children with allergies face unacceptable levels of risk at school, somewhere they should feel safe and protected. Since Benedict died, I have spoken to countless parents and carers whose children have suffered allergic reactions or near-misses at school. I hope this new Code will ensure schools interrogate their own processes, improve their understanding of allergies and know how to respond in an emergency,” said Helen Blythe, Founder of Benedict Blythe Foundation.

Describing the code of practise as a “gamer-changer for safety in schools”, John Murphie, Chief Operating Officer of the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association, said: “We would urge all schools to adopt it and join the Register. Allergy is an often overlooked area of safeguarding and we need to give parents, pupils and staff greater confidence that schools really understand allergy and know how to reduce risk.”

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