Potential life savers are in training at Auchinleck Academy thanks to a scheme by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland.

All pupils at the school will be offered CPR training at an appropriate stage in the curriculum, giving them the essential skills that could save a life if someone suffers a cardiac arrest.

The programme will be rolled out to all secondary schools in East Ayrshire and an annual award for the pupil who shows the most commitment to learning CPR skills has also been launched in memory of Jim Fulton – a former Auchinleck teacher who sadly died of heart failure earlier this year.

Martin Robertson, head teacher at Auchinleck Academy said: “I’m truly delighted we can do something to honour the memory of Jim Fulton, a much respected and missed teacher and I know he’d have been overjoyed that we have signed up to this vital initiative.”

A similar programme, delivered by Ayrshire and Arran Heartstart – a charitable organisation affiliated to the BHF – has already proved popular at Kilmarnock Academy.

In Scotland, one in 12 people who have a cardiac arrest outside hospital survive but in Denmark, where schools have compulsory CPR training, the statistic is just one in four.

David McColgan, senior policy and public affairs manager at BHF Scotland, explained: “We’re delighted East Ayrshire Council recognises the importance of CPR training in schools and their commitment further cements our ambition to ensure that every school pupil is equipped with the skills to save a life.”

Councillor Fiona Campbell, East Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning added: “I’m very pleased we can support the BHF’s vital initiative and look forward to seeing how the training progresses in Auchinleck Academy.

“Getting the right response early is absolutely essential when someone suffers a cardiac arrest and it’s exciting that the training will be extended to all our secondary schools.

“I’m also really pleased to learn of the Jim Fulton award – it really is welcome news and if this valuable programme manages to save even one life, it will have been incredibly worthwhile.”