In order to maximise the number of potential providers of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the community, it has been suggested that a programme of basic life support (BLS) training should be included within the school curriculum. Using a questionnaire sent to 275 schools in south east Hampshire (representing 71,716 pupils), we discovered that BLS was taught at only 26% of schools which replied. The age at which teaching commenced ranged from 7-16 years (mode = 10 years). We estimated that almost 5000 children might currently be trained annually in these schools. Consequently, each year approximately 40% of children in south east Hampshire schools might be exposed to BLS training. On average, schools offering BLS tuition were larger, had more teaching staff and employed a higher proportion of staff who were themselves BLS providers. The majority of BLS teaching was undertaken by school staff (50.9% of schools) and members of the Red Cross, The St. John Ambulance Brigade or statutory ambulance service (30.9%). One school utilised members of the local fire brigade. Only one school offering BLS training to its pupils did not have a staff member trained in CPR.