GLASGOW is to become the first city in the UK to make CPR training mandatory in all its secondary schools following a pressure campaign by the Evening Times.

Every pupil in the city with the highest rate of cardiac arrests in Scotland will now leave school with cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills after the council agreed to embed the life-saving training in the curriculum.

While some schools are already teaching CPR to pupils, making the lessons compulsory will ensure every pupil benefits, building a legacy of around 4,500 potential lifesavers a year.

The SNP-led council is to work with British Heart Foundation Scotland, education officers and secondary teachers to put a plan in place that will put Glasgow among the ranks of world leaders in cardiac arrest strategy including Norway, Denmark and Seattle.

Figures show there is a massive gulf in survival rates in Scotland, and Glasgow in particular because of the health and deprivation link.

Read more: First Minister hails Evening Times for mandatory CPR in city's schools 

Only one in 20 people will survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest, compared to one in ten for the rest of the UK. For every minute without CPR, survival drops by 10%. Mandatory lessons in Denmark have helped the country achieve a one-in-four survival rate.

Our campaign fits in with a Scottish Government target to equip an extra 500,000 more people with CPR skills by 2020, which estimates suggest could save an additional 1,000 lives.

Councillor Chris Cunningham, Convener of Education for Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow schools have for many years offered a range of CPR and first aid training to pupils from P6 upwards, as part of BHFs Heartstart programme and delivered by our teachers.

“We are delighted now to take this partnership to another level and work with BHF and the Evening Times ‘Glasgow’s Got Heart’ campaign and make a promise to start to formulate a plan, timescale and delivery method to ensure that secondary pupils, at an appropriate stage in the curriculum, all receive CPR training.

“Discussions will now take place with secondary headteachers and education officers to agree a structure that will in the long term equip our young people with the valuable skills to help to save lives in our city.”

Read more: Survival rates tripled in Denmark after pupils were taught CPR

The move has been welcomed by health and charity leaders, cardiologists and cross-party politicians.

David Murdoch, Lead Cardiologist for the Scottish Government said: "I applaud this decision. 

"I know from personal experience as a cardiologist in Glasgow that teaching CPR in school makes a big impression on‎ young people and they will remember it for the rest of their lives.

" I have looked after patients who have suffered an out of hospital cardiac arrest who have survived because a bystander had been taught CPR in school. 

"Even if they never use that practical knowledge, I think it helps develop some confidence in other emergency situations as well as  a sense of community, where we take responsibility for going to the aid of others.

The move was unanimously supported by Evening Times readers in an online poll, while national research shows 65% of the population are in favour of compulsary lessons.

Read more: Tragedies like the bin lorry crash teach us why children should learn life-saving skills 

Judy O’Sullivan, Director of Services for the British Heart Foundation, urged other local authorities across the UK to follow Glasgow's lead.

Dr Linda de Caestecker, Director of Public Health for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “The Evening Times’ Glasgow’s Got Heart campaign is a wonderful idea and I’m delighted Glasgow City Council is leading the way in the UK.

“The unfortunate fact remains that Glaswegians are still more likely to die of a cardiac arrest than anywhere else in the country.

“We’re moving in the right direction towards changing this but still have some way to go.”

Green Councillor Martin Bartos, who lodged a motion four years ago calling for the change, said: "Learning how to help, helps kids to help others in our big hearted city.“

SNP MSP Bill Kidd, said: “Very well done to the Evening Times for being so consistent and caring in keeping this campaign to the forefront of all our minds – this will save lives.”

Labour MSP Anas Sarwar, said: “Once again Glasgow is showing leadership and I hope the rest of Scotland will deliver this too.”

British Heart Foundation Scotland has pledged to supply every secondary school in Glasgow with a £1300 training kit which includes a DVD, re-usable, inflatable manikins, which lasts 30 minutes - around 0.04% of the school year - and requires no staff training.

Glasgow-born TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, said: “Congratulations to the Evening Times, that’s something that needs to be rolled out across the country.

“This is where local newspapers are so relevant. You pick up what peoples’ concerns are and you can actually do something about it.”

Alison Thewliss SNP MP said: “It’s great to see Glasgow leading the way on such an important issue.” 

Conservative MSP for Glasgow Annie said Glasgow would “lead the way” in taking forward the plan.