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Ill tidings;Jotter

It is not just education authorities that have exclusion policies. Greater Glasgow Health Board also has one, if its guidelines to headteachers on communicable diseases are to be believed.

A table of well-known childhood ailments has been issued with exclusion periods to be observed by child, household and school. Everything from warts to mumps is covered although the guidance regarding what is known as "slapped cheek syndrome", or "parvovirusFifth disease", does not reveal whether it is the result of teachers ignoring the guidelines on corporal punishment.

The special notes on gastrointestinal infection are causing some headteachers concern as they confront campylobacteriosis, cryptosporidiosis and the two varieties of dysentery. One head caused panic by sending a copy of the notes home to the parents.

Think of the absence letters: "Please excuse wee Kylie from school this week. She has been suffering from campylobacteriosis and wisnae well. And oblidge my mother."

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