Managing Medicines

Managing Medicines Policy

Medicines should only be taken at school when essential: that is where it would be detrimental to a child’s health if the medicine were not administered during the school day. We prefer parents to administer medicines at school however if this is impossible the following procedures will need to be followed.


Medicines should always be provided in the original container as dispensed by the pharmacist and include the prescribers instructions for administration. The school will not accept medicines that do not conform to the above rule and will not make changes to the dosage even on parental instructions. Parents must complete a parental agreement for school to administer the medication available from the office. Once completed the form will be collected from the office by the duty first aider. The first aider will record when medication has been given.

We would encourage parents to ask prescribers to consider the use of medicines that only need to be taken outside school. If medication is required three times a day it should be taken before school, after school and before bedtime so as to obviate need to bring medicines into school. Medicines will be stored in a locked cabinet in the first aid room with the exception of certain inhalers. Some medicines may need to be stored in a refrigerator. In this case they should be sealed in an air tight container and carefully labelled.

No child will be given medicines without their parents written consent. Any member of staff giving medicines to a child should check

* The child’s name

* The prescribed dose

* The expiry date

* The written instructions provided by the prescriber on the label or container

If in doubt about any procedure staff should not administer the medicines but check with parents or a health professional before taking further action.

We consider that it is good practice for children to take responsibility to manage their own medicines. As children become capable of this, staff will only need to supervise.

If a child refuses to take medicine staff should not force them to do so but should make a note of this. Parents should be informed of the refusal on the same day.

Controlled Drugs

Some children may be prescribed drugs that are controlled by the misuse of drugs act. These will always be kept in a locked non-portable container and only a qualified first aider will have access. As with other medicines a careful record of administration will be kept.


Asthma is quite common amongst children and is usually treated by inhalers. These fall into two categories: relievers (blue) and preventers (brown, red, orange or tablets). Preventers are usually taken outside school hours. Children with asthma need to have immediate access to their reliever medicine. A spacer device is used for younger children and they may need assistance with this. As they become able to use their inhalers themselves they should be allowed to carry them with them. If a child is too young or immature to do this staff should ensure that it is stored in a safe but readily accessible place. For children with severe asthma it is useful to have a spare inhaler kept in school.

Health Care Plan

For children who have more serious medical conditions it will be necessary to draw up a health care plan. This will record both symptoms and treatment for a child’s condition. This must be shared amongst all staff who may have contact with the child.

Disposal of Medicines

All medicines should be returned to the parent when no longer required. It is their responsibility to arrange for safe disposal (by returning the unwanted supply to their local pharmacy). If this is not possible it should be returned to a dispensing pharmacist whose details will be on the label.

Non-Prescription Medicines

Staff should never give a non prescribed medicine to a child. Any variation to this policy must be agreed by the headteacher. If it is deemed necessary then formal records of administration must be kept. If a child suffers regularly from frequent or acute pain the parents should refer the matter to the child’s G.P.

Educational Visits

At Elm Road Primary School we encourage all children to participate in school visits regardless of any medical needs. The school will review the medical needs of each individual child and make reasonable adjustments to enable them to participate fully and safely on the visit. All staff will be made aware of the arrangements for taking any necessary medicines and if appropriate will have a copy of the health care plans to be taken on the trip providing all the information needed in an emergency. If there are concerns about whether they can provide for a child’s safety or the safety of other children on the visit, they should seek parental views and medical advice from the relevant authority.