Ministerial Order 706, effective 22 April 2014 requires all schools in Victoria to have an Anaphylaxis Management Policy. This policy must include the matters set out in Ministerial Order 706 – Anaphylaxis management in Schools. These include Individual management plans for students at risk; a communication plan involving staff, parents and students; staff training and emergency response procedures.
The College will fully comply with Ministerial Order 706 and the associated guidelines published and amended by the Department from time to time.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Anaphylaxis is a severe, rapidly progressive allergic reaction that is potentially life threatening. The most common allergens in school aged children are peanuts, eggs, tree nuts (e.g. cashews), cow’s milk, fish and shellfish, wheat, soy, sesame, latex, certain insect stings and medication.
The key to prevention of anaphylaxis in schools is knowledge of those students who have been diagnosed at risk, awareness of triggers (allergens), and prevention of exposure to these triggers. Partnership between schools and parents are important in ensuring that certain foods or items are kept away from the student while at school.
Adrenaline given through an EpiPen® auto-injector to the muscle of the outer mid-thigh is the most effective first aid treatment for anaphylaxis.
It is St Mary MacKillop College’s policy to provide a safe and supportive environment.
The College will:
Provide, as far as practicable, as safe and supportive environment in which students at risk of anaphylaxis can participate equally in all aspects of the student’s schooling.
Raise awareness about anaphylaxis and the school’s anaphylaxis management policy in the school community, to engage with parents/guardians of students at risk of anaphylaxis in assessing risks, developing minimisation strategies and management strategies for the student.
To ensure that each staff member has adequate knowledge about allergies, anaphylaxis and the school’s policy and procedures in responding to an anaphylactic reaction.
Review Date: December 2017
Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plans
The Principal will require that an individual management plan is provided to the school by the parents before commencement.
The individual management plan should be set out in the format used by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and allergy (ASCIA) as this is the format that staff will be familiar with. Below is a list of matters set out in the plan.
Information about the diagnosis, including the type of allergy or allergies the student has (based on a diagnosis from a medical practitioner).
Strategies to minimise the risk of exposure to allergens while the student is under the care or supervision of school staff, for on-site or off site activities, including camps and excursions.
Information on where the student’s medication will be stored. At St Mary MacKillop College this is the Pastoral Care Centre.
The student’s emergency contact details.
An emergency procedures plan (ASCIA Action Plan), provided by the parent, that:
Sets out the emergency procedures to be taken in the event of an allergic reaction;
Is signed by a medical practitioner who was treating the child on the date the practitioner signs the emergency procedures plan; and
Includes an up to date photograph of the student.
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and allergy (ASCIA) action plan link:
The student’s individual management plan will be reviewed, in consultation with the student’s parents/guardians:
Annually, and as applicable.
If the student’s condition changes, or
As soon as practicable after the student has an anaphylactic reaction at school.
When the student is to participate in an offsite activity, organised or attended by the College (e.g. class parties, elective subjects, cultural days, fetes, incursions).
It is the responsibility of the parent to:
Provide an auto-injector such as EpiPen®, within its current expiry date, for use in an emergency; the emergency procedures plan (ASCIA Action Plan).
Inform the school if their child’s medical condition changes, and if relevant provide an updated emergency procedures plan (ASCIA Action Plan).
Provide an up to date photo for the emergency procedures plan (ASCIA Action Plan) when the plan is provided to the school and when it is reviewed.
Liaise with Parents about food-related activities ahead of time.
Never give food from outside sources to a student who is at risk of anaphylaxis.
It is recommended to use non-food treats where possible.
Products labelled ‘may contain traces of nuts’ should not be served to students allergic to nuts. Products labelled ‘may contain milk or egg’ should not be served to students with milk or egg allergy and so forth.
Be aware of the possibility of hidden allergens in food and other substances used in cooking, food technology, science and art classes (e.g egg or milk cartons, empty peanut butter jars).
Ensure all cooking utensils, preparation dishes, plates, and knives and forks etc. are washed and cleaned thoroughly after preparation of food and cooking.
Have regular discussions with students about the importance of washing hands, eating their own food and not sharing food.
A designated staff member will inform casual relief teachers, specialist teachers and volunteers of the names of any students at risk of anaphylaxis, the location of each student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Plan and Adrenaline Autoinjector, the School’s Anaphylaxis Management Policy, and each individual person’s responsibility in managing an incident i.e. seeking a trained staff member.
Canteen staff will be able to demonstrate satisfactory training in food allergen management and its implications on food-handling practices, including knowledge of the major food allergens triggering anaphylaxis, cross-contamination issues specific to food allergy, label reading etc. Refer to:
‘Safe Food Handling’ in the School Policy and Advisory Guide, available at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/goevernance/pages/foodhandling.aspx
Helpful resources for food services: http://allergyfacts.org.au/component/virtumart/
Canteen staff, including volunteers, are briefed about students at risk of anaphylaxis and, where the Principal determines in accordance with clause 12.1.2 of the Order, have up to date training in an Anaphylaxis Management Training Course as soon as practical after a student enrols.
Display the students name and photo in the canteen as a reminder to School Staff.
Products labelled ‘may contain traces of nuts’ should not be served to students allergic to nuts.
Canteens should provide a range of healthy meals/products that exclude peanut or other nut products in the ingredient list or a ‘may contain . . ‘ statement.
Food banning is not generally recommended. Instead, a ‘no-sharing’ with the students with food allergy approach is recommended for food, utensils and food containers. However, school communities can agree to not stock peanut and tree nut products (e.g. hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, etc), including chocolate/hazelnut spreads.
Be wary of contamination of other foods when preparing, handling or displaying food. For example, a tiny amount of butter or peanut butter left on a knife and used elsewhere may be enough to cause a severe reaction in someone who is at risk of anaphylaxis from cow’s milk products or peanuts.
The College will have sufficient staff on yard duty that are trained in the administration of the Adrenaline Autoinjector (ie. EpiPen®/ Anapen) to be able to respond quickly to an anaphylactic reaction if needed.
The Adrenaline autoinjector and each student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan are easily accessible from the yard, and staff should be aware of their exact location. (Remember that an anaphylactic reaction can occur in as little as a few minutes).
The College has a Communication Plan in place so that the student’s medical information and medication can be retrieved quickly if a reaction occurs in the yard. All staff on yard duty must be aware of the College Emergency Responses Procedures and how to notify the Pastoral Care Centre/First aid team of an anaphylactic reaction in the yard.
Yard duty staff must also be able to identify, by face, those students at risk of anaphylaxis.
Students should be encouraged to keep drinks and food covered while outdoors.
Staff supervising the special event must be trained in the administration of an Adrenaline Autoinjector to be able to respond quickly to an anaphylactic reaction if required.
Staff should avoid using food in activities or games, including as rewards.
Out of School settings
Travel to and From School by Bus
Staff should consult with parents of students at risk of anaphylaxis and the bus service provider to ensure that appropriate risk minimisation and prevention strategies and processes are in place to address an anaphylactic reaction should it occur on the way to and from school on the bus. This includes the availability and administration of an adrenaline Autoinjector. The Adrenaline Autoinjector and ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis must be with the student.
Excursions and Sporting Events
Staff supervising the excursion or sporting event must be trained in the administration of an Adrenaline Autoinjector and be able to respond quickly to an anaphylactic reaction if required.
A staff member trained in the recognition of anaphylaxis and the administration of the Adrenaline Autoinjector must accompany any student at risk of anaphylaxis on excursions or sporting events.
The Adrenaline Autoinjector and a copy of the Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan for each student at risk should be easily accessible and staff must be aware of their exact location.
For each excursion or sporting event a risk assessment should be undertaken for each individual student attending who is at risk of anaphylaxis. The risks may vary according to the number of anaphylactic students attending, the nature of the excursion/sporting event, size of venue, distance from medical assistance, the structure of the excursion and corresponding staff-student ratio. All staff members present during the excursion/sporting event need to be aware of the identity of any students attending who are at risk of anaphylaxis and be able to identify them by face.
The College will consult parents of anaphylactic students in advance to discuss issues that may arise.
Camps and Remote Settings
Prior to engaging a camp owner/operators services the College will enquire as to whether it can provide food that is safe for anaphylactic students. If a camp owner/operator cannot provide this confirmation to the College, then the College will consider using an alternative service provider.
Camp cooks should be able to demonstrate satisfactory training in food allergen management and its implications on food-handling practices, including knowledge of the major food allergens triggering anaphylaxis, cross-contamination issues specific to food allergy, label reading etc.
The College must not sign any written disclaimer or statement from a camp owner/provider that indicates that the owner/operator is unable to provide food which is safe for students at risk of anaphylaxis. The College has a duty of care to protect students in their care from reasonably foreseeable injury and this duty cannot be delegated to any third party.
The College should conduct a risk assessment and develop a risk management strategy for students at risk of anaphylaxis. This should be developed in consultation with the parents/guardians of students at risk of anaphylaxis and camp owners/operators prior to the camp dates. The College will ensure that appropriate risk minimisation and prevention strategies and processes are in place to address an anaphylactic reaction should it occur.
If the College has concerns about whether the food provided on a camp will be safe for students at risk of anaphylaxis, it should also consider alternative means for providing food for these students.
Use of substances containing allergens should be avoided where possible.
Camps should avoid stocking peanut or tree nut products, including nut spreads. Products that ‘may contain’ traces of nuts may be served, nut not to students who are known to be allergic to nuts.
The student’s Adrenaline Autoinjector, Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan, including the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis and a mobile phone must be taken on camp. If mobile phone access in not available, an alternative method of communication in an emergency must be considered, e.g. a satellite phone.
Prior to the camp taking place staff should consult with the student’s parents/guardians to review the students Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan to ensure that it is up to date and relevant to the circumstances of the particular camp.
Staff participating in the camp should be clear about their roles and responsibilities in the event of an anaphylactic reaction. Check the emergency response procedures that the camp provider has in place. Ensure that these are sufficient in the event of an anaphylactic reaction and ensure all staff participating in the camp are clear about their roles and responsibilities.
Include an Adrenaline Autoinjector for general use in the first aid kit, even if there is no student at risk of anaphylaxis, as a backup device in the event of an emergency.
Review and consider the strategies listed under “Excursions and Sporting Events” and “Camps and Remote Settings”. Where an excursion or camp is occurring overseas, the College should involve parents in discussions regarding risk management well in advance.
Investigate the potential risks at all stages of the overseas travel such as:
Travel to and from the airport/port;
Travel to and from Australia (via aeroplane, ship etc);
Various accommodation venues;
All towns and other locations to be visited;
Sourcing safe foods at all of these locations; and
Risks of cross contamination, including –
Exposure to the foods of the other students;
Hidden allergens in foods;
Whether the table and surfaces that the students may use will be adequately cleaned to prevent a reaction; and
Whether the other students will wash their hands when handling food.
Assess where each of these risks can be managed using minimisation strategies such as the following:
Translation of the student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan and ASCIA Action Plan;
Sourcing of safe foods at all stages’
Obtaining the names, address and contact details of the nearest hospital and Medical Practitioners at each location that may be visited;
Obtaining emergency contact details; and
Sourcing the ability to purchase additional autoinjectors.
Record details of travel insurance, including contact details for the insurer. Determine how any costs associated with medication, treatment and/or alteration to the travel plans as a result of an anaphylactic reaction can be paid.
Plan for appropriate supervision of students at risk of anaphylaxis at all times, including that:
There are sufficient staff attending the excursion who have been trained in accordance with Chapter 12 of the guidelines (Staff Training);
There is an appropriate level of supervision of anaphylactic students throughout the trip, particularly at times when they are taking medication and eating food.
There will be capacity for adequate supervision of any affected student(s) requiring medical treatment, and that adequate supervision of other students will be available; and
Staff/student ratios should be maintained during the trip, including in the event of an emergency where the students may need to be separated.
The College should re-assess its Emergency Response Procedures, and if necessary adapt it to the particular circumstances of the overseas trip. Keep a record of relevant information such as the following:
Dates of travel;
Name of airline, and relevant contact details;
Itinerary detailing the proposed destinations, flight information and the duration of the stay in each location;
Hotel addresses and telephone numbers;
Proposed means of travel within the overseas country;
List of students and each of their medical conditions, medication and other treatment (if any);
Emergency contact details of hospitals, ambulances, and Medical Practitioners in each location;
Details of travel insurance;
Plans to respond to any foreseeable emergency including who will be responsible for the implementation of each part of the plans;
Possession of a mobile phone or other communication device that would enable the staff to contact emergency services in the overseas country is assistance is required.
The College should involve parents/guardians, the student and the employer in discussions regarding risk management prior to a student at risk of anaphylaxis attending work experience. Parents are asked to submit any medical documentation for the College to send to the employer.
The Principal will be responsible for ensuring that a communication plan is developed to provide information to all staff, students and parents/guardians about anaphylaxis and the school’s anaphylaxis management policy (as per Chapter 11 Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Anaphylaxis Guidelines).
The communication plan will include information about what steps will be taken to respond to an anaphylactic reaction by a student in a classroom, in the school yard, on school excursions, on school camps and special event days.
Volunteers and casual relief staff of students at risk of anaphylaxis will be informed about students at risk of anaphylaxis and their role in responding to an anaphylactic reaction by a student in their care by the Daily Organiser.
All staff will be briefed once each semester by a staff member who has up to date anaphylaxis management training on:
The school’s anaphylaxis management policy.
The causes, symptoms and treatment of anaphylaxis.
The identities of students diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis and where their medication is located.
How to use an auto-adrenaline injecting device.
The school’s first aid and emergency response procedures.
Staff Training and Emergency Response
Teachers and other school staff who conduct classes which students at risk of anaphylaxis attend, or give instruction to students at risk of anaphylaxis must have up to date training in an anaphylaxis management training course. Staff, in general, will be given basic information about anaphylaxis at a College meeting twice each year.
A template for this presentation can be downloaded from the Department’s website: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/health/Pages/anaphylaxisschl.aspx
At other times while the student is under the care or supervision of the school, including excursions, yard duty, camps and special event days, the Principal must ensure that there is a sufficient number of staff present who have up to date training in an anaphylaxis management training course.
The Deputy Principal will identify the school staff to be trained based on a risk assessment. This training is above and beyond the once a semester briefing.
A risk assessment tool can be downloaded from the following link to assist in the identification of staff requiring training. http://sofweb.vic.edu.au/wellbeing/support/anaphyl.htm
Training will be provided to these staff before the student’s commencement at school, or as soon as practicable after the student enrols.
The school’s first aid procedures and students emergency procedures plan (ASCIA Action Plan) will be followed in responding to an anaphylactic reaction.
Originally Released: 2015
Due for Review: 2018