Two schools in Henley-in-Arden close due to sickness outbreak

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Henley-in-Arden School and Arden Fields Primary School are closed today (Thursday November 14) and tomorrow (Friday November 15).

Arden Fields Primary has closed due to an outbreak of the norovirus and Henley-in-Arden School has closed due to a sickness outbreak. Both school will re-open on Monday November 18.

Steve Jefferies, the headteacher at Henley-in-Arden School, issued a letter and posted it on social media to inform parents and the public about the closure.

Mr Jefferies said: "We are experiencing an extraordinarily high level of absence related to illness with children reporting symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and high temperature.

"The level of absence has increased over the last 24 hours. Although the outbreak of illness began over the weekend, it is possible – though not confirmed – that the school site has now become one site where the infection is being spread from person to person."

The school's closure allows for a 'deep clean' of the school to take place.

Mr Jefferies added: "There is, obviously, no point in deep cleaning the school overnight only to have children with the infection returning to school the next day so closing the school should ensure that children returning on Monday do not bring the infection back into school; the infection is self-limiting and is unlikely to last more than 72 hours."

The letter also said the school is not dealing with a confirmed outbreak of norovirus; however, the pattern of the spread of the illness suggests that this is the norovirus or similar.

The school also made the following points to the public:

- Learning opportunities will be provided using Show My Homework and pupils should complete these on Thursday and Friday.

- Because the outbreak began over the weekend, they think the infection originated from outside of school. They recommend children stay away from parties or other gatherings of people.

- It is unlikely that any children will still be experiencing symptoms after four days (Thursday, Friday and the weekend) but if they do, they should not return to school for 72 hours after they last experienced vomiting or diarrhoea. This measure will remain in place for the next week.

- All appropriate public bodies – Public Health England, the Environmental Health team and so on – have all been consulted in the course of the last few days and are aware of the situation.

- Good personal hygiene – thorough washing of hands after using the toilet and before eating will greatly reduce the spread of infection.

- For Year 11 pupils: the parents’ evening scheduled for today (Thursday November 14) has been cancelled, and re-scheduled for Tuesday November 26.

Two other schools in south Warwickshire were closed today (Thursday November 14), but due to the weather and flooded roadways and not sickness.

Both Acorns and Brailes primary schools near Shipston-on-Stour were closed today.