Beat Asthma Friendly Schools

Since September 2022, following an Expression of Interest exercise, the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (NENC ICS) Asthma Leadership Group (ALG) has been working alongside a number of selected primary school settings to develop, embed and pilot the Beat Asthma Friendly Schools (BAFS) Accreditation Pilot. The overall aim of the programme was to develop a framework for accreditation and suitable supportive resources to enable school settings in the North East and North Cumbria to improve asthma care in the community to improve the experiences and outcomes for CYP with asthma (or with suspected asthma)

 

There are 13 primary schools who are in the pilot from across the NENC ICS region and who have successfully achieved the BAFS Accreditation:

  • Brighton Avenue Primary School, Gateshead
  • Central Walker C of E Primary School, Newcastle
  • Copeland Road Primary School, Durham
  • Grangetown Primary School, Redcar and Cleveland
  • Hudson Road Primary School, Sunderland
  • Mill Lane Primary School, Stockton-on-Tees
  • Morpeth First School, Northumberland
  • Normanby Primary School, Redcar and Cleveland
  • Reid Street Primary School, Darlington
  • Sunnyside School, Middlesbrough
  • Villa Real School, Durham
  • West View Primary School, Hartlepool
  • Percy Main, North Shields

To be recognised as a Beat Asthma Friendly School, each school must address a set of criteria that establishes an Asthma Friendly environment and meets current legislation from the Department of Health and Department for Education guidelines.

The Beat Asthma Friendly Schools Award

The Beat Asthma Friendly Schools award was initiated to encourage schools to develop safe, healthy and inclusive environments for students with asthma. The BAFS Accreditation scheme aims to support the whole school community in understanding and managing asthma and is specifically for schools and education settings in the North East and North Cumbria ICS footprint. Research indicates that asthma is accountable for up to 18% of school absence and the accreditation scheme aims to support schools and education settings to respond to this.

  • Improving asthma awareness and management in the school
  • Improving support to students with asthma encouraging an inclusive environment
  • Supporting responsibilities for the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff
  • Ensures the school is implementing current and best practice asthma management strategies
  • Enables the school to promote its accreditation status to ensure that the community is aware of the school's commitment to Asthma Friendly strategies
  • Contribute to improved school attendance.
Beat Asthma Friendly Schools
BAFS Feedback

We received really positive feedback from our pilot group. 92% reported an increase in confidence within pilot group to effectively manage children and young people with diagnosed or suspected asthma, 100% gave positive feedback about the accreditation resources and  approximately 30 examples of good practice and/or changes in practice in school settings were given. 42% of settings reported a reduction in school days lost.

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Beat Asthma Friendly Schools Addreditation Poster

These criteria are:

  • BAFS Asthma Policy and Procedure in place
  • Accredited asthma training for 85% school staff
  • An Asthma Register
  • Personalised Asthma Action Plan for each Child, including details of medication
  • Children to have immediate access to their own inhalers, stored appropriately
  • Purchase of an emergency inhaler and spacer and associated procedural guidelines
  • System for identifying children who are missing school because of their asthma or who are not participating in sports or other activities due to poor control

The inclusion of Young People in this work is invaluable and forms a component of the accreditation. The BAFS framework seeks evidence to demonstrate the involvement of Young People to enable a full whole school approach to the management of asthma and the improvement of health and other outcomes for CYP with asthma. Examples of this in practice have included the establishment locally in settings for Asthma Ambassadors.

Beat Asthma Child Badge.png

Winning logo designed by a Year 4 pupil from 
Morpeth First Primary School.

As part of the work the ALG (asthma leadership group) have worked with the pilot school settings to develop and agree a Children's Logo to represent Childrens’ Voice in Asthma. We provided some resources and asked the settings to talk to Young People about asthma and how to help support their peers and how asthma might affect someone. We asked them to design a logo to demonstrate what they had talked about and what they had learned. We undertook a logo competition for which we received over 100 submissions from children on roll within the school settings. The Child Health and Wellbeing Network Young Advisors to selected a winner from the entries and this is now our BAFS Accreditation Children’s Voice in Asthma logo.

Melissa Bus  

Melissa bus skeletonMelissa bus staffMelissa bus feedbackMelissa bus dummyMelissa bus flyer

The Community Asthma Advisors took the Melissa Bus to one of the secondary schools who are currently working on the pilot to enable access to the Melissa Bus educational resource.

67 children accessed the facility over the course of a morning to learn about asthma and its effects, medication and how to support someone who was experiencing an asthma attack, it also gave a valuable opportunity to spread the word about Healthier Together and the information that is available about all sorts of health needs for Young People and families

 

As part of this development work, the ALG, with partners have developed a set of resources to support primary school settings to become BAFS Accredited. These resources are adaptable for use in secondary and further education settings also all resources will be available in due course.

As part of the toolkit there is a freely available, downloadable implementation pack that contains a host of information and guidance as well as some template resources for adoption/adaptation to meet local requirements.

We are currently in the process of defining the arrangements for sustainable roll out to primary school settings but the expectation would be that schools will be able to freely access the resources to implement policy and processes locally with the opportunity to have evidence validated either remotely or in person at centralised hubs in each of the localities (frequency, location and timetable to be confirmed) to validate completed checklists and supporting evidence to demonstrate achievement of BAFS standards.

We have developed a flow chart to explain the process:

BAFS flow chart .png

 

Currently the following dates have been identified for validation hub opportunities, some venues/locations have yet to be confirmed.

11th December 2023

9th February 2024 to be hosted at Tanfield School, Tanfield Lea Road, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 8AY

18th March 2024

Please book your slot by contacting stees.chwnbafs@nhs.net

 

Depending on school settings, the average time to implement the requirements of the accreditation has ranged between 2 and 25 hours depending on what was already in place and how much additional time has been required to develop systems internally.

The ALG working with partners has developed a toolkit for implementation locally in primary school settings. The resources available include:

Feedback from our pilot group indicates that the resources available are very straightforward to implement with minimal support and oversight and in some cases have provided structure and enhancement to already existing procedures.

If following review of the available supporting resources, the schools require further advice and guidance then they can request arm’s length support from the Carol Barwick and Clare Caygill, our Community Asthma Advisors (initially via email at stees.CHWNBAFS@nhs.net) or for further advice about local implementation or for advice about specific challenges that they may be facing then can contact the nominated leads for the schools within the pilot programme. 

Please note that support from Community Asthma Advisors and Pilot School leads will be available as capacity allows and for a time limited basis until more suitable longer-term arrangements are identified.

The resources that have been developed are applicable in both primary, secondary and further education settings and all resources will be made available on the platform in due course. The process for accreditation will be the same as for primary settings.

Please could any secondary schools who would like to take this on, register their interest at stees.CHWNBAFS@nhs.net and once these resources have been developed and are available we will be in touch to notify you that they are available.

The BAFS Accreditation Resources are hosted on NENC Healthier Together Website and are freely available to anyone from any area however we are unable to review/validate evidence portfolios for accreditation for settings situated outside the North East and North Cumbria boundary area. Other ICS areas are welcome to discuss with the Beat Asthma team regarding establishing Beat Asthma Accreditation locally within their ICS.

The BAFS Accreditation validation process has been set up specifically for education settings in the North East and North Cumbria and as such, settings outside of this boundary area are not eligible for BAFS Accreditation via this means.

We would ask that if these resources are utilised or locally adapted outside the NENC region that the work of the NENC Child Health and Wellbeing Asthma Leadership Group is acknowledged. We would also request that areas choosing to adopt or localise the documentation/resources advise the CHWN that this is being done so that we can be aware of the legacy that is being created. For further discussion please contact us at stees.CHWNBAFS@nhs.net

We suggest that schools accreditation period would last for 3 years from the point their evidence has been validated and will require renewal at this point. The expectation is that the setting would continue to implement and develop their processes throughout the three year period and ensure staff training is provided to any new or returning staff as well as the ongoing maintenance of the requirements of the accreditation for the duration.

If you would like to discuss this further please contact Louise Dauncey via the CHWN main inbox at england.northernchildnetwork@nhs.net

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