Schools fight festive flu

Festive bug causing Winter woes

BRITAIN’S annual winter bug has hit the North West causing major disruption to the region’s schools.

Bramhall High School, Stockport, reopened this week having been forced to close its doors for three school days.

Thursday 8th December saw 250 pupils and staff stay home in order to prevent further infection.

In a letter released to parents, Lynne Fox, Headteacher, said: “As you are aware we have had an unprecedented situation at school with so many of our students and staff being ill. As the cases of flu are continuing to rise we have now been advised by the Health Authorities to close the school to enable all our poorly students and staff to recover.”

The school’s decision to close raises wider issues across the region of the impact that staff absences are having on children’s education.

Figures released by the Department for Education show that over 100,000 teaching days in Greater Manchester were lost in 2013/14 due to staff absences as a result of illness.

Philip Ivory, Headteacher of St George’s Primary School, Bolton, has had 14 teachers and teaching assistants absent over a two-week period due to feeling unwell, amounting to over half of his entire teaching workforce.

He said: “It impacts on the continuity of learning. For the children who find change difficult, it is an added pressure on them when their class teacher is not there.”

By Charlie Holt