The English initiative will form part of a compulsory health program in schools, alongside education about relationships, sex and mental health.

It has been warmly received by organisations such as the Heart Foundation and the Resuscitation Council (UK).

"If the English can do it, so can we," says Kevin Nation, chief executive of the NZ Resuscitation Council.

"Resuscitation techniques sometimes seem more daunting to attempt than they really are, so it’s fantastic to see children being taught these invaluable skills."

The NZ Resuscitation Council believes a generation of children confident in their ability to save lives can have a tremendous impact, contributing to a safer, more productive society with reduced healthcare costs.

The Council says two hours teaching annually, beginning at 12 years old, is enough to reach not only the children themselves but their wider communities.

"Kids come home buzzing to share what they learn, and it could be their siblings or parents who then go on to save a life," says Mr Nation.

"This is an internationally established, common sense policy, and with the government already reviewing our educational curriculum we believe now is the perfect time to discuss teaching CPR in every school."