Administering medicines: staff responsibilities

Find out what the requirements are for staff administering medicines to pupils at school, and what to do if you don't have enough trained staff.

Last reviewed on 15 January 2020
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 1738
  1. Staff can refuse to administer medicines
  2. Staff must be trained
  3. ‘Competent’ pupils can manage their own medicines

This article is based on the Department for Education's (DfE's) statutory guidance on supporting pupils with medical conditions at school

Staff can refuse to administer medicines

You can ask teachers or other staff member to administer medicines to pupils, but they can refuse to do so. Bear in mind that teachers' professional duties don't include administering medicines or providing medical care. 

However, teachers should take into consideration the needs of pupils with medical conditions that they teach. 

Refer to your policy

Your school is required to have a policy that clearly states how you're supporting pupils with medical conditions, including the roles and responsibilities of all staff involved.

Download and adapt our model policy  for supporting pupils with medical conditions, or use our checklist (in the same link, above) to help you review your existing one.

See also examples of schools' policies for administering medicines in this article

Staff must be appropriately trained before giving