Guidelines to assist schools in managing severe allergies.
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Do you need to comply?
Conditions of compliance
The Children’s Services and Education Legislation (Anaphylaxis Management) Amendment Act 2008 came into effect on 14 July 2008.
All schools across Victoria must by law have an anaphylaxis management policy if they have a student enrolled who has been diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis. This policy must include procedures for: 1. individual management plans for each child at risk; 2. a communication plan to inform staff, parents and students about anaphylaxis and the school’s anaphylaxis management policy; and 3. staff training and emergency response.
Ministerial Order 706 – Anaphylaxis Management in School (updated 2016 to allow for online training model) sets out clearly what steps schools must, at a minimum, take to ensure the safety of students at risk of anaphylaxis in their care. These requirements, from 22 April 2014, will form the basis of a minimum standard for school registration under Part IV of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.
From 1 January 2012, early years education and care services must meet the requirements of the National Quality Framework. An education and care service is any service providing or intending to provide education and care on a regular basis to children under the age of 13 years. This includes family day care, long day care, outside school hours care and preschools (kindergartens).
The approved provider of a service must ensure that at all times that while children are being educated and cared for by the service, at least one educator must hold a current approved first aid qualification and have undertaken current approved anaphylaxis management training. Asthma management training is also required.
If you have to comply, what do you have to do?
Any school that has a student or students at risk of anaphylaxis must have the following in place:
a statement that the school will comply with the Order and guidelines on anaphylaxis management
a statement that in the event of an anaphylactic reaction, the school’s first aid and emergency response procedures and the student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan must be followed
the development and regular review of Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plans for affected students
prevention strategies to be used by the school to minimise the risk of an anaphylactic reaction
the purchase of back up Adrenaline Autoinjectors for General Use by schools
the development of a Communication Plan
the training of school staff on anaphylaxis management, (Schools have different training options to meet the requirements of Ministerial Order 706. See Vic DET Anaphylaxis Management in schools for more detail)
the completion of an annual Risk Management Checklist.
The Anaphylaxis Guidelines for Victorian Government Schools have been developed to assist government schools in planning for and supporting students with severe allergies. Independent Schools Victoria recommends the adoption of the guidelines for independent schools that have students at risk of anaphylaxis.
The guidelines are divided into five sections:
the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training policy
facts about anaphylaxis
the roles and responsibilities of principals, school staff and parents/carers
management and prevention strategies
communicating with staff, students and parents/carers.
What are the consequences if you don’t comply?
You may be putting the health of students at risk. There is also the possibility of litigation in the event of a serious incident. Compliance with Ministerial Order 706 is a requirement for school registration.