No time off from school for sick children – in Wales

Welsh health booklet that recommends children with conjunctivitis, tonsilitis and 5 other illnesses don't have time off school has been described as a ‘joke’

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How much time do you think a child should have off school for tonsillitis, glandular fever or conjunctivitis? A day, a week? Or just until your child feels better?

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It seems that the answer is no time off at all. At least, that’s according to a new health guide distributed to parents in Wales.

The booklet has been produced by the Central South Consortium Joint Education Service (CSCJES) for the councils covering Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Vale of Glamorgan. According to Wales Online, it recommends pupils take zero days off school while suffering with conditions including:

“I thought it was a joke,” dad-of-2 Gareth Whittle, from Cardiff said. “I think as parents we are responsible enough to know when and for how long we should keep our children away from school.”

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The guide called ‘A parents guide to Managing Sickness Absence from School’ was created with medical advice obtained directly from the Health Protection Agency in England in conjunction with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, a spokesperson for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, one of the local authorities in the Consortium said.

The guide does at least recommend that a child with flu should stay at home until recovered, but suggests a precise 5 days off for chickenpox. The current NHS advice is that children should stay off school until all of the blisters have crusted over (at which point they’re no longer infectious). 

So what do you think? Should children have time off school for tonsillitis or glandular fever? Let us know in the comments

Images: CSCJES

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