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Posted on 11 November 2022

Preventing infectious diseases in schools and the Antibiotic Guardian Schools Ambassadors Programme.

Thank you for your hard work in keeping staff and students safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. As an Antibiotic Guardian and Antimicrobial Resistance Lead for the Derbyshire Integrated Care System, I wanted to get in touch to discuss the opportunity to provide a teaching session, or to promote materials and resources for you to design a lesson around hygiene, preventing disease, and antimicrobial resistance, during the winter period. I hope that this is something that your school will be able to engage with.

As you will know, schools offer the perfect breeding ground for many common winter infections, which then spread rapidly, causing disruption to pupils, staff and parents. Resistance to antimicrobials is increasing and will cause some people to suffer longer illnesses as infections become more difficult to treat. Developing new antimicrobials is slow. If we don’t protect the ones we have, even routine procedures could become too dangerous to perform due to complications.

For this reason, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has developed the Antibiotic Guardian Schools Ambassadors Programme, designed to connect public health and healthcare professionals with local schools, to deliver teaching on infection control, hygiene and preventing antimicrobial resistance.

There are several ways the AG Schools Ambassadors Programme can support your school in raising awareness of the above topics. Such as, providing a toolkit of lesson planning resources for your own use or providing an article for use in your school newsletter. A brief video on the issues of infection prevention, hygiene and antimicrobial resistance, which can be used to introduce the lesson can be found on YouTube. Ideally, sessions to take place in/around World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW, 18-24 November) although there is some flexibility here. We will also be happy to answer any questions or provide any insights ahead of WAAW.

The resources in the toolkit are based around core resources produced by the UKHSA e-Bug team. e-Bug provides a wealth of free educational resources - linked to the national curriculum for various key stages - for classroom and home use - to make learning about micro-organisms, the spread, prevention, and treatment of infection, fun and accessible for all teachers and students. e-Bug resources are recommended for teaching Infection prevention and control topics, including hand and respiratory hygiene. Further resources will also be included to take the guesswork out of planning a lesson during WAAW.

If you or a member of your team have any questions about how you can get involved during WAAW, please let us know via and we will be happy to discuss further.

Steve Hulme
Director of Medicines Management & Clinical Policies NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board Antimicrobial Resistance Lead Joined Up Care Derbyshire

During World Antibiotic Awareness Week. We encourage you to:

  • Plan a teaching session about hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and antibiotics in an engaging and age-appropriate way – using the e-Bug materials mentioned previously.
  • Include the newsletter item provided within your usual communication with parents
  • Support your staff to complete the free e-learning to improve knowledge and confidence to teach children and young people about microbes and how to prevent the spread of infection.

Please let UKHSA know if you plan to provide your own lesson or share the newsletter item via the schools registration form.

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