Administration of Medication Policy


1. Introductory Statement

While the Board of Management has a duty to safeguard the health and safety of pupils when they are engaged in authorised school activities, this does not imply a duty upon teachers or special needs assistants (SNAs) to personally undertake the administration of medication.


The Board of Management requests parents to ensure that staff members are made aware in writing of any medical condition suffered by their child. This information should be provided at enrolment or at the development of any medical condition at a later date.



2. Rationale

This policy is being put in place to:

  • Clarify areas of responsibility.
  • To give clear guidance about situations where it is not appropriate to administer medicines.
  • To indicate the limitations to any requirements which may be notified to teachers, SNAs and school staff.
  • To outline procedures to deal with a pupil with a nut allergy in our school.
  • Safeguard school staff that are willing to administer medication.
  • Protect against possible litigation.



3. Relationship to the Characteristic Spirit of the School

Scoil Mhuire promotes positive home-school contacts, not only in relation to the welfare of children, but in relation to all aspects of school life. This policy is in keeping with the school ethos through the provision of a safe, secure and caring school environment and the furthering of positive home-school links.



4. Aims

The aims of this policy are to:

  • Minimise health risks to children and staff on the school premises.
  • Fulfil the duty of the Board of Management in relation to Health and Safety requirements.
  • Provide a framework within which medicines may be administered in cases of emergency or in instances where regularised administration has been agreed with parents/guardians. 



5. In-School Procedures

Parents/guardians are required to notify Scoil Mhuire of any medical conditions when completing the school’s Admission Form on enrolling their child in our school. Any staff member willing to administer medication does so under the controlled guidelines outlined below:

    • Prescribed medicines, excluding antibiotics and/or steroids, will only be administered after parents/guardians of the pupil concerned have written to the Board of Management requesting the Board to authorise a member of staff to do so. The Board will seek indemnity from the parents/guardians in respect of any liability arising from the administration of medicines.
    • Under no circumstance will prescribed antibiotics and/or steroids and any non-prescribed medicines be either stored or administered in the school.
    • The school generally advocates the self-administration of medicine, e.g. inhalers, under the supervision of a responsible adult, exercising the standard of care of a prudent parent. No medicines are stored on the school premises. A small quantity of prescription drugs will be stored in the Secretary’s Office if a child requires self-administering on a daily basis and parents/guardians have requested storage facilities. Parents are responsible for the provision of medication and notification of change of dosage.
  • Teachers have a professional duty to safeguard the health and safety of pupils, both when they are authorised to be on the school premises and when they are engaged in authorised school activities elsewhere.
  • The Board of Management requests parents/guardians to ensure that teachers be made aware in writing of any medical condition suffered by any child in their class.
  • This does not imply a duty upon teachers or SNAs personally to undertake the administration of medicines or drugs.




6. Long-term Health Problems

Where there are pupils with long-term health problems in school, proper and clearly understood arrangements for the administration of medicines must be made with the Board of Management. This is the responsibility of the parents/guardians. It would include measures such as self-administration, administration under parental supervision, or administration by school staff.



7. Life-threatening Conditions

Where a pupil is suffering from a life-threatening condition, parents/guardians must clearly outline, in writing, what should be done in a particular emergency situation, with particular reference to what may be a risk to the child (Appendix 1). If emergency medication is necessary, arrangements must be made with the Board of Management. A Letter of Indemnity must be signed by the parents in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of medication.



8. Guidelines for the Administration of Medicines

  • The parents/guardians of the pupil with special medical needs must inform the Board of Management in writing of the condition, giving all the necessary details of the condition. The request must also contain written instruction of the procedure to be followed in administering the medication (Appendix 1).
  • Parents must write requesting the Board of Management to authorise the administration of the medication in school.
  • Where specific authorisation has been given by the Board of Management for the administration of medicine, the medicines must be brought to school by the parent/guardian/designated adult.
  • Parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring that emergency medication is supplied to the school and replenished when necessary. 
  • Emergency medication must have exact details of how it is to be administered.
  • The Board of Management must inform the school’s insurers accordingly.
  • Parents/guardians are further required to indemnify the Board of Management and members of the staff in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of prescribed medicines in school.
  • All correspondence related to the above is kept in the school.



9. Medicines

  • Prescribed antibiotics and/ or steroids and all non-prescribed medicines will neither be stored nor administered to pupils in school.
  • Teachers and SNAs in the school will only administer prescribed medication when arrangements have been put in place as outlined above.
  • Arrangements for the storage of certain emergency medicines, which must be readily accessible at all times, must be made with the Principal.
  • A teacher or an SNA must not administer any medication without the specific authorisation of the Board of Management.
  • The prescribed medicine must be self-administered if possible, under the supervision of an authorised teacher or SNA if not the parent/guardian.
  • No teacher or SNA can be required to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil.
  • In an emergency situation, qualified medical assistance will be secured at the earliest opportunity and the parents/guardians contacted.
  • It is not recommended that children keep medication in bags, coats, etc.
  • Where possible, the parents/guardians should arrange for the administration of prescribed medicines outside of school hours.




10. Guidelines for Pupils with a Nut Allergy

  • Parents/guardians are required to inform the school upon enrolment or as soon as a diagnosis is made, that their child has a nut allergy.
  • Parents/guardians should ensure that the child’s class teacher is made aware at the start of every school year of the nut allergy.
  • Parents/guardians must write to the Board of Management to inform them of their child’s nut allergy, giving all the necessary details of the condition and to request authorisation of the administration of medicine at school. The request must contain written instructions of the procedure to be followed in administering the medication (Appendix 1).
  • Staff dealing with the pupil do not eat nuts or any item with nut trace.
  • The pupil’s class is made a nut-free zone, which means that the pupils in the class are not allowed to bring nuts or any items with nut trace to school. 
  • Pupils are advised not to offer or exchange foods, sweets, lunches etc.
  • If going off-site, medication is carried.



11. Medical Emergencies

  • In the event of a medical emergency, a teacher or SNA should do no more than is necessary and appropriate to relieve extreme distress or prevent further and otherwise irreparable harm. Qualified medical treatment should be secured in emergencies at the earliest opportunity.
  • Where no qualified medical treatment is available, and circumstances warrant immediate medical attention, designated staff members may take a child to Accident & Emergency without delay. Parents/guardians will be contacted simultaneously.
  • Parents/guardians must ensure that teachers are made aware in writing of any medical condition which their child is suffering from, and the symptoms of that condition, in order to ensure that treatment may be given by appropriate persons.
  • Written details are required from the parents/guardians outlining the child’s personal details, name of medication, prescribed dosage, whether the child is capable of self-administration and the circumstances under which the medication is to be given. Parents/guardians should also clearly outline proper procedures for children who require medication for life-threatening conditions.
  • The school maintains an up-to-date register of contact details of all parents/guardians, including emergency contact numbers.



12. First Aid Kits

  • A full medical kit is taken when pupils are engaged in out-of-school activities, including school tours and outings, school matches, athletics etc.
  • A first aid box is maintained in the Secretary’s Office and is taken to the Junior Playground and the yard at recreation breaktimes.
  • Staff members who have completed first aid training are identified at recreation breaktimes by wearing pink rather than the usual yellow high-vis vests.



13. Roles and Responsibilities:

The Board of Management has overall responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of the school policy on the Administration of Medication. The Principal is the day to day manager of routines contained in the policy, with the assistance of all staff members. The Deputy Principal is the Safety Officer, and a senior member of the school’s First Aid Team takes responsibility for the replenishment of first aid kits and the regular assessment of the school’s defibrillator.  



14. Success Criteria:

The effectiveness of the Administration of Medicines Policy in its present form is measured by the following criteria:

  • Compliance with Health and Safety legislation.
  • Maintaining a safe and caring environment for pupils.
  • Positive feedback from parents/guardians, teachers and SNAs.
  • Ensuring the primary responsibility for administering medicines remains with parents/guardians.



15. Ratification & Communication

This Administration of Medication Policy was reviewed and updated by the Board of Management on 11 June 2024, following consultation with staff and parents/guardians. The policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents Association. 



16. Monitoring & Evaluation

The implementation of this Administration of Medication Policy will be monitored by the Principal, staff and Board of Management. It will be reviewed and evaluated at regular intervals, including through formal and informal feedback from parents/guardians, pupils, staff and others. The policy will be revised as necessary in the light of such review and evaluation.



Monsignor Denis Lennon                                      Dr Mags Jordan

Chairperson of Board of Management                 Principal/Secretary to Board of Management

11 June 2024                                                         11 June 2024