While there is still much uncertainty about the likely severity of a general flu or Swine Flu pandemic it is important that the school has procedures in place should Swine Flu become a serious issue here in Thanet.
If necessary the school will adopt the following procedures to ensure the health and safety of all staff and students:
- The school will remain open unless closure is necessary to contain the spread of the infection. If the school does close the procedure will be the same as for any whole school closure and information will be given out via the local radio stations, our website or a letter from the school. If the school does need to close the current guidance is that it should shut, in the first instance, for Years 7 to 11. Where possible work for students will be made available through the school virtual learning environment.
- If the school has to close during any public exam period we will aim to remain open for exam candidates – candidates should ensure they check the school website for up to date information. If it is not possible to remain open for exam candidates we will follow the procedures for special consideration as outlined by the exam boards.
- Students should attend school unless they have been confirmed as having Swine Flu or are being investigated as a possible or probable case of Swine Flu.
- Students who have no symptoms of Swine Flu but have been in contact with probable or confirmed cases in the community should continue to attend school unless they display symptoms of the illness.
- If any student displays symptoms of flu they will be sent home where they should contact their GP or NHS Direct.
- The school will reinforce the need for good hygiene including the regular washing of hands and the suitable disposal of tissues.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has issued the following guidelines:
- The symptoms for Swine Flu are similar to general flu symptoms and include: coughing, sore throat, rhinorrhea (runny nose), limb or joint pain and headache. Some confirmed cases have also included vomiting and diarrhoea.
- If your son or daughter is displaying symptoms of swine flu you should call NHS Direct or your GP who will give further advice.
- Anyone with the onset of symptoms within 7 days of visiting a country where there is a known outbreak should stay home and contact their GP or NHS Direct. The full list of countries which have been affected can be found on the HPA website http://www.hpa.org.uk
- Facemasks should only be used if you have Swine Flu or if you are taking care of someone with Swine Flu.
For further guidance see the HPA website.
While we hope that there will be no large scale outbreak of Swine Flu, the school will look to keep you informed as to any further developments that may affect the school or your child.
Mr S Pullen
Head of School