Ealing primary school pupils were some of the first in the country to receive CPR training at a session in Westminster on Thursday.

Year Six pupils from Berrymede Junior School took part in interactive workshops organised by advocacy group Kids Save Lives and the Association of Anaesthetists.

Last week the government announced plans to add the teaching of CPR and first aid to the secondary school curriculum for 2020.

Assistant Head Steven Cotton said: “It was a great experience for them. 

"I think that teaching children the skills of CPR is very important. 

“The faster the response is the more chance you have of saving someone's life and children can be that response."

In the UK there are 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests with just 8% of patients surviving, according to data from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).  

Less than half of bystanders intervene when they witness someone collapse due to lack of knowledge – in Scandivanian countries such as Norway and Denmark where CPR has been a part of the school curriculum for decades survival rates are at 21%.

Kids Save Lives chairwoman and event organiser, Dr Ada Ezihe-Ejiofor, said: “If we double our survival rate in the UK that’s thousands of lives per year saved.

“By simple interventions we can empower people and give them the necessary confidence to intervene.” 

Dr Ezihe-Ejiofor said children are the best suited demographic to learn such skills and by adding it to the curriculum they are likely to absorb such information.

The four pupils who took part said they felt confident in their ability to not only use the skills themselves but also tell their parents how to carry out the procedure.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “As a father I want my children to have the knowledge and skills they need to keep themselves safe and help others, and as Education Secretary I want that for every child.”

The decision to add CPR to the curriculum followed years of campaigning spearheaded by the British Heart Foundation. 

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Each day people needlessly die because bystanders don't have the confidence or knowledge to perform CPR and defibrillation.

"This is why all schoolchildren should be given the opportunity to learn these skills.”