Swine flu primary prepares to reopen

29th May 2009 at 01:00

The primary school at the heart of Britain's biggest outbreak of swine flu is preparing to reopen after being deep cleaned over half-term.

As the The TES went to press, 45 children and five adults associated with Welford Primary School in Handsworth, Birmingham, had been confirmed with swine flu - 44 cases were confirmed on Tuesday alone.

The Health Protection Agency in the West Midlands said that it was expected the numbers of cases would rise, as laboratory tests came in.

The reopening date for the school could not be confirmed on Wednesday, as the situation was still being monitored.

The children were all responding well to treatment, health officials have said.

The 485-pupil school closed for half-term a day early on Thursday May 21 after it was confirmed that one pupil had the virus. It is believed that about 100 pupils called in sick in the previous week.

The school reopened on Saturday and Sunday to act as a distribution centre for anti-viral medicine - only those without symptoms were invited to pick up medicine from the school.

The HPA said that it had been working with the school to contact all parents and teachers to offer to deliver the anti-viral medication to the home of anyone with flu-like symptoms.

The school's statement said: "The school has been working in close partnership with the HPA and at all times has followed the advice received."

Welford Primary, which featured in a BBC show The Primary last year about community cohesion, has been praised by Ofsted as good.

Inspectors said Chris Smith, the headteacher, provided "outstanding leadership and is truly the heart and soul of the school".

The Department of Health said that by Tuesday the total number of confirmed cases of swine flu in the UK had risen to 184.

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