Administration of Medicine


Administration of Medicines Policy

(Updated February 2017)


Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire, Rathpeacon is an inclusive primary school. The entire staff works hard to ensure that every child in our care has access to the primary school curriculum in a fair and equitable way. As a staff, we recognise that some children attending our school have specific medical and healthcare requirements. Often, these children will need extra attention and/or medication during school hours.

Our Administration of Medicines Policy was initially compiled in 2002 to ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of the procedure in relation to administration of medicines. It was recently redrafted through a collaborative school process and was ratified by the Board of Management on 21st of February 2017.


The policy as outlined was put in place to:

  • Clarify areas of responsibility
  • To give clear guidance about situations where it is appropriate to administer medicines
  • To indicate the limitations to any requirements which may be notified to teachers and school staff
  • To outline procedures to deal with pupils with severe allergies in our school
  • Safeguard teachers and school staff that are willing to administer medication
  • Protect against possible litigation.


Relationship to School Ethos:

The school 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.

Aims of this Policy:

The aims and objectives of this policy can be summarised as follows:

  • Minimise health risks to children, teachers and school staff on the school premises
  • Fulfil the duties 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 

In –School Procedures:

No teacher or member of school staff is obliged to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil and any teacher or member of school staff willing to do so works under the controlled guidelines outlined below.

  • 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 and school staff be made aware both verbally and in writing of any medical condition suffered by any child in their class. Please use Appendix 1 for this purpose.
  • This does not imply a duty upon teachers or school staff to personally undertake the administration of medication. Under no circumstance will non-prescribed medicines (e.g. Calpol, Nurofen, Cough remedies etc) be either stored or administered in the school.
  • Prescribed medicines will only be administered after parents/guardians of the pupil concerned have completed Appendix 1 and returned it to the Principal for the attention of the Board of Management.
  • A small quantity of such prescribed medicines may be stored in a locked drawer or out of reach of pupils if a child requires self-administering on a daily basis and parents have requested storage facilities.
  • 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.
  • Parents/guardians must indemnify the Board of Management, teachers and all school staff in respect of any liability arising from the administration of medicines. This is included in Appendix 1.
  • Parents/guardians are responsible for the provision of medication and notification of change of dosage and replacing it if out of date.

Long Term Health Problems

Where there are children with long-term health problems in our 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 includes measures such as self administration, administration under parental supervision, supervision by school staff or administration by school staff.

Life Threatening Condition

Where children are suffering from life threatening conditions, 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. If emergency medication is necessary, particular arrangements must be made with the Board of Management. A letter of indemnity must be signed by the parents/guardians in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of medication.

Guidelines for the Administration of Medicines

  1. 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)
  2. Parents/guardians must write requesting the Board of Management to authorise the administration of the medication in school.
  3. 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 and handed over to a responsible adult.
  4. A written record of the date and time of administration must be kept by the person administering it (Appendix 2).
  5. Parents/Guardians are responsible for ensuring that emergency medication is supplied to the school and replenished when necessary, or replaced when out of date.
  6. Emergency medication must have exact details of how and when it is to be administered
  7. The Board of Management must inform the school’s insurers accordingly.
  8. 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.
  9. All correspondence related to the above are kept in the school.


  • Non-prescribed medicines (eg. Calpol, Nurofen, cough mixtures etc.) will neither be stored nor administered to pupils in school
  • Teachers/Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) in the school will only administer prescribed medication when arrangements have been put in place as outlined in this policy
  • Arrangements for the storage of certain emergency medicines, which must be readily accessible at all times, must be made with the Principal and Board of Management
  • A teacher/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/SNA if not the parent/guardian
  • No teacher/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, parents should arrange for the administration of prescribed medicines outside of school hours.

Guidelines with regard to pupils with a severe allergy who suffer a reaction:

  • Symptoms of shock or severe reaction to an allergen can include, wheezing, severe difficulty breathing and gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • If a pupil with a severe allergy comes in contact with an allergen and displays symptoms of shock, administer medication following the procedure outlined by parent(s)/ guardian(s) in Appendix 1.
  • Staff dealing with a pupil with a nut allergy must not eat nuts or any item with nut trace.
  • Parents of pupils in the class where there is a child with an allergy will be requested not to give their child food stuffs containing allergens that may spark a reaction.
  • Children will be advised not to offer or exchange foods, sweets, lunches etc.
  • If going off-site, medication must be carried.


In the event of an emergency, teachers or school staff 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 into Accident and Emergency without delay.  Parents/guardians will be contacted simultaneously.

In addition, parents/guardians must ensure that teachers are made aware in writing of any medical condition which their child is suffering from.  For example children with Diabetes or Epilepsy etc. may have a seizure at any time and teachers must be made aware of symptoms 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 outline clearly 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 numbers.  This is updated in September of each new school year.

Permission will be sought to display up to date photos of the child. This is so that all staff become familiar with the pupil and can easily identify him/her and be aware of their medical needs (Consent Section is in Appendix 1).

First Aid Boxes:

A full medical kit is taken when children are engaged in out of school activities such as tours, football/hurling games and athletic activities.

A first aid box is kept in each of our school buildings. They contain anti-septic wipes, anti-septic bandages, sprays, steri-strips, cotton wool, scissors etc.

First Aiders:

All SNA’s have completed Occupational First Aid. This qualification is renewed and updated every two years. New members of our SNA team will be required to complete Occupational First Aid training. Teaching staff will be provided with basic first aid training.

General Recommendations:

We recommend that any child who shows signs of illness should be kept at home. A child too sick to play with peers should not be in school. Requests from parents/guardians to keep their children in at lunch break are not encouraged. A written note from a parent/guardian is required before a child is kept in at lunch break.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The Board of Management has overall responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of the school policy on Administration of Medication.  The Principal is the day to day manager of routines contained in the policy with the assistance of all staff members. SNA’s have the responsibility for the maintenance and replenishment of First Aid Boxes.

 Success Criteria:

The effectiveness of the school policy in its present form is measured by the following criteria:

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

Ratification and Review:

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting of February 21st, 2017.  It will be reviewed in the 2020/2021 school year or sooner if the need arises.

Signed: ____(Frank Maguire)_____

Chairperson on behalf of the Board of Management.

Date: _______________


Appendix 1: Details of Medical Condition and Administration of Medicines

  1. Pupil Information


Child’s Name: ________________________    Date of Birth: _________________

Class: __________________                 Teacher: ____________________________

Address:           _____________________________________________________

Contact number(s) for mother: _________________________________________

Contact number(s) for father:  _________________________________________

  1. Details of Pupil’s Medical Condition(s) and/or Allergy

Name of Medical Condition(s)/Type of Allergy: _______________________________


Signs and Symptoms of Medical Condition/Allergic Reaction: _____________________



Triggers or things that make the pupil’s condition(s) worse: ______________________


3.Prescription Details:

Note: Parents/Guardians are responsible for ensuring that medication supplied to the school is replenished when necessary, or replaced when out of date.

Name of medication:  ________________________________________________________

Storage details: _____________________________________________________________

Dosage required: ____________________________________________________________

Is the child to be responsible for taking the prescription him/herself?    ____________

  1. Procedure for Administration of Medication:

 Please outline in clear steps exactly what action is required and when, to include ‘dial 999, call emergency services and contact Parents.




Please outline any other considerations/requirements/procedures or other relevant information the school should be made aware of regarding your child’s health care in school, particularly in the event of your child displaying symptoms of his/her medical difficulty:.



4.Emergency Contacts other than parents

  1. Name of Child’s Doctor: ______________________ Phone: ________________

2) Name: ___________________________        Phone: _______________________

Relationship to child: _________________________

3) Name: ____________________________      Phone: _______________________

Relationship to child: __________________________

4) Name: ______________________________  Phone: ___________________

Relationship to child: ________________________

Administration of Medicines in Rathpeacon National School

  1. Declarations of Parent(s)/Guardian(s)
  • I/We request that the Board of Management authorise the taking of Prescription Medicine during the school day as it is absolutely necessary for the continued well being of my/our child.
  • I/We understand that I/we are responsible for ensuring that medication supplied to the school is replenished when necessary, or replaced when out of date.
  • I/We understand that we must inform the school of any changes of medicine/dose both orally and in writing and that we must inform the class teacher each new school year of the prescription/medical condition.
  • I/We understand that no school personnel have any medical training and we indemnify the Board from any liability that may arise from the administration of the medication.


Signature(s): _______________________________________ Date:  __________



  1. Permission to Share Medical Information

The medical information contained in this plan may be shared with individuals involved with my child’s care and education (this includes emergency services). I understand that I must notify the school immediately of any changes in writing.

I accept the above paragraph                I do not accept the above paragraph

(Please tick as appropriate)

Signature: ______________________________             Date:  _____________



  1. Permission for Administration of Emergency Medication by School Staff

In the event of an emergency, my child may receive medication or treatment administered by a staff member in Rathpeacon NS as outlined in Appendix 1.

I accept the above paragraph               I do not accept the above paragraph

(Please tick as appropriate)

Signature: ________________________________                      Date:  _____________


  1. Permission for Photography (please tick/circle the appropriate reply)

The school may take photos of my child and display them within the school building along with details of my child’s condition. I understand that this is to enable school staff to readily identify my child and to inform them of the details of my child’s condition(s).

I understand that the photos and details mentioned above may possibly be seen by people other than teachers and school staff (e.g. visitors to staff room, other parents/pupils etc.)

 I accept the above paragraph                I do not accept the above paragraph

(Please tick as appropriate)

Signature: _______________________________              Date:  _____________



Appendix 2: Record of Administration of Medicines

 This is to be completed by school staff every time medication is administered.

 Completed forms are to be kept on file in the Administration Office.

Pupil’s Name: __________________________ Date of Birth: _____________

Class: ________________             Teacher: ___________________________

Medical Condition: ________________________________________________

Medication: ______________________________________________________

Dosage Administered: _____________________________________________

Administration Details (When? Why? How?)


Parents/Guardians Informed? (Please tick) YES                    NO

Please note any other information that may be relevant.


Signature of Staff Member:   ________________­______  Date:  _________________