As winter approaches, it is important that schools are reminded and updated on important health considerations for their pupils/students, parents/carers and staff.
Pupils and staff in schools are particularly susceptible to infections which increase over the winter months, such as seasonal influenza (flu) and stomach infections (such as norovirus). These can be very infectious and cause outbreaks in school settings due to the close contact amongst pupils and staff. The spread of these illnesses can be limited
by improving infection control practices within the school.
Young children and/or those with chronic illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders are also at risk of developing complications from certain vaccine-preventable infections
such as measles and flu. It is important that they are fully immunised to prevent any complications and to reduce the likelihood of outbreaks in a school setting. It is also
essential that schools have up to date and easily accessible records of children identified as being in a risk group (see page 5 – Influenza risk groups – for more information). This will ensure that a rapid risk assessment regarding the need for post exposure treatment can be considered in the event of individual cases and/or an outbreak situation.
The attached briefing guidance provides:
1. Key messages for head teachers on winter preparedness.
2. Two checklists on flu and norovirus readiness and when and how to report
3. Leaflets and further information on flu, norovirus and meningitis.