Squirrel Hayes school shut as pupils struck by norovirus bug
DOZENS of pupils and staff at a school were struck down by a stomach bug – forcing it to close for five days.
Squirrel Hayes First School, in Biddulph, has confirmed that a 'high proportion' of the school's 130 children suffered from sickness and diarrhoea after it was hit with the norovirus bug.
The Springfield Road school was forced to close on Friday, November 23 while a deep clean was carried out. It re-opened last Thursday.
Headteacher Erica Smith said: "The school was closed last week due to an outbreak of sickness and diarrhoea.
This Sunday between 11am & 4pm with FREE admission at the Moat House Hotel Festival Park we will be exhibiting with some special show offers, the weather forecast isn't good but our deals are
Terms: Visit us or pick up a voucher at the show to be eligible
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Sunday, June 23 2013
"Thanks to the hard work of staff and the local authority who performed a deep clean of the school, we were able to open last Thursday, which was earlier than expected. "While they were off school, all children had learning packs via the school's website and through James Bateman Junior High School so they could continue their learning.
"Parents have been very positive about the action we took to close the school and help contain the infection, and we are pleased to be open again and back to normal."
Robert Grant's five-year-old son Leo was struck down with the illness. The 36-year-old, of Biddulph, said: "He came home on the Thursday and he was really sick.
"At first I thought it was just a little bug, but when the school closed I worried it was something more.
"Normally, when children are sick, they are still allowed to go into the school, but the school was completely closed off, which automatically made me think it was contaminated."
Mr Grant added: "I still don't know where it came from and the school won't tell us, but it must have been a pretty bad outbreak for them to close it for so long."
The news of the bug comes just two weeks after The Sentinel reported how two Staffordshire Moorlands schools suffered an outbreak last month.
Staff at St Giles Catholic Primary School in Cheadle and St Thomas Catholic Primary School in Tean came down with the bug after attending a joint training day.
It resulted in the closure of the Cheadle school for two days.
A spokesman for the Heath and Protection Agency (HPA) said: "Cases of norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, are not uncommon at this time of year and the infection is particularly difficult to contain when it gets into environments where people mix in close proximity, such as schools. "
"Although people usually recover without treatment in 24-72 hours, it is important to stay away from work, school or college until they have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours."