Swine flu guidance
ATL has received a number of enquiries from members concerned about the recent arrival in the UK of swine flu. The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) produced guidance for schools on planning for a human influenza pandemic in 2006. As a consequence all schools should have amended their emergency planning policies to incorporate a flu pandemic accordingly.
The following information should be contained within an emergency planning policy:
a nominated person to make a decision whether to close the school - either because of government advice that schools in an area should close, or because of reasons specific to the school
up-to-date contact details for staff and parents
a system to enable a sick child to be kept separate from other pupils (and staff) until their parents can collect them
ways of establishing systems for children to do schoolwork at home and how to cover absent staff in the recovery period
liaison with the local authority
systems for informing parents and teachers that the school is closing.
All staff should be familiar with the plan.
We will continue to update this information as and when further advice is issued.
The DCSF's regularly updated flu pandemic planning and infection control guidance for schools and colleges is available from Teachernet at www.teachernet.gov.uk/emergencies/planning/flupandemic/.
In May 2009, the DCSF contacted all schools and LAs with specific advice from the Health Protection Agency relating to children returning from half term holidays in Mexico and the United States.
The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) advice and updates on swine flu are available at www.hse.gov.uk/news/2009/swineflu.htm.
Guidance from the TUC on pandemic flu is available on its website at www.tuc.org.uk/pandemicflu.