This letter is to advise you that diarrhoea and vomiting illness which is present in the community at this time of the year is also circulating at school. You may be aware that over the last 2 days we have experienced unusually high levels of absence, much of which is related to sickness and diarrhoea (including a small number of cases of suspected norovirus).
We are following advice from Public Health England on managing the outbreak including increasing cleaning throughout the school.
Following discussions with Public Health England I have made the decision to close the Academy for a brief period to enable a full deep clean and to allow students and staff to recover from any prevailing illness.
The Academy will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday and will re-open on Monday 2nd December to all. (Friday 29th November was already a planned school closure, as communicated previously).
We would very grateful for the support of parents in helping us reduce the spread of the infection. If your child has symptoms of diarrhoea and or vomiting, please keep them at home until 48 hours after they are feeling better. During this time, they should not mix with other children outside the home or visit local venues.
Norovirus is commonly known as Winter Vomiting Disease and occurs commonly in the community and in schools and nurseries in particular at this time of the year. If your child is ill, you may find the following information useful:
ADVICE FOR PARENTS ABOUT NOROVIRUS
What are the symptoms?
• Diarrhoea and vomiting usually lasting 1 -2 days
What should you do if your child is unwell?
• Make sure they get lots of rest.
• Ensure they drink plenty of fluids, taking sips rather than gulps to avoid vomiting.
• Give infant Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, according to product instructions, to help keep their temperature down.
• If your child is unusually sleepy, won’t take fluids or has other symptoms, such as blood in their diarrhoea, an unusual rash, headache, neck stiffness or difficulty breathing, ring NHS Direct (0845 4647), contact your GP or take your child to hospital.
• Please ring your child’s nursery/ school and let them know that your child is ill and what symptoms they have.
• Keep them at home until they are well enough to return to school. However, if your child has been suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting keep them at home until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.
How can you prevent the spread of these infections?
Hand washing is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of both of these infections. This applies to the child who is ill and the person looking after them. Hands should always be washed, using liquid soap if possible:
• Before and after caring for your child.
• After using the toilet.
• Before eating or handling food.
• After cleaning up a mess (vomit, faeces or urine).
Other ways of preventing the spread of infection are to:
• Keep a separate towel for family members who have symptoms.
• Dispose promptly of used tissues and other items that your child may have coughed or sneezed on.
• Wash soiled clothing, bed linen and towels in a washing machine. Use the hottest wash for that fabric.
• Clean baths and washbasins thoroughly and disinfect after use.
• If cleaning up diarrhoea or vomit, wash the surface with hot soapy water and disinfect before allowing to dry. If using bleach remember that it can remove the colour from fabrics and can burn the skin.
Please keep your child away from other children and people that are particularly vulnerable, e.g. the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.
Over the next 3 school days Year 11 students are expected to take the opportunity to revise using GCSE Pod. All other year groups can undertake revision from their knowledge organisers.
I look forward to welcoming pupils back to school on Monday 2nd December.
Head of Academy