How long should you keep child off school after a sickness bug?
Parents at an Ipswich school have expressed concern after they were advised to contradict NHS guidelines and send their children back to school sooner after they have been ill.
Morland CEVA Primary School, just off Morland Road in Ipswich sent out a message to parents stating that their children should return to school 24 hours after being sick.
This contravenes NHS guidelines which specifically state that it is important for children and adults not to return to work or school for 48 hours after being sick or having diarrhoea.
The text sent out to parents in September simply read: “Sickness – Please leave 24 hours after being sick. Your child can then return to school. This is a change from the present 48 hours.”
A concerned parent of a Morland school pupil, who wished to remain anonymous, suggested that the move was a means to increase work efficiency among pupils.
They said: “I worry that this is sending the wrong message to our children and the parents that health doesn’t come first.
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“That it’s about cracking that whip harder and work/performance that is most important.
“I suspect that is perhaps why Mental Health is on the rise especially in our young people.”
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Suffolk County Council has since issued a statement and reminded the public that schools set their own attendance rules.
A spokesman said: “Public health supports the guidance provided by the NHS around sickness and returning to work or school, however, in Suffolk, all schools are required to set their own attendance policy.”
The school principal Alison Warren refused to say why this change had been made but said: “We don’t wish children to miss school once they are well enough to be at school.
“Once the child is well enough, has been clear of their last bout of sickness or diarrhoea for 24 hours and has eaten, then they’re well enough to come back to school.
“We are trying to keep children in school, please be on the side of the schools.”
Morland Primary School was rated Inadequate at its last Ofsted inspection in 2017.
It has since had a monitoring visit in February this year.
What do you think? Are children well enough to return to school 24 hours after their last bout of sickness? Would you be worried about the spread of germs if other children are returning sooner?
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