Kelso school deep cleaned after four in 10 children were off because of illness

Broomlands Primary School, Kelso.
Broomlands Primary School, Kelso.
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A KELSO primary school was closed for deep cleaning after winter bugs took their toll on the school roll, writes Sally Gillespie.

Scottish Borders Council cleaners blitzed the primary earlier this month after nearly 40 per cent of children were off school one day the previous week.

A spokesperson for SBC said: “Many pupils were absent during the week beginning January 28 due to illness.

“The school took advice from the community infection control nurse, and a ‘deep clean’ was carried out on Saturday, February 2.

“There is no specific detail available on what the illness was.

“The spreading of bugs and illnesses is not uncommon in schools at this time of year.”

The school roll was hit on Monday January 28 with 69 pupils of the school’s 236 absent.

Tuesday that week was the worst hit with 86 children – over 36 per cent of the school – off; 57 were absent on the Wednesday, 56 on the Thursday and 72 on the Friday.

Parent Sandra Ward, whose six-year-old daughter, Ruby, is in primary two, said: “It’s just the time of year for these bugs. Usually it starts in the nursery and works its way up, but this year it seemed to be the older kids. It was high temperatures, flu’ and headaches.

“My daughter was complaining of a sore head but she wasn’t off school.

“If kids are sent back to school too quickly, it just goes through the whole school because they sit so close to one another.

“I think the school acted responsibly and parents were pleased the council did the deep clean.”

Borders Health Board yesterday confirmed some of the absences had been because of flu’.

A spokesperson said: “Influenza has been identified in samples from three school children; with reported symptoms from other children consistent with these findings.

“The level of influenza is not unusual for this time of year and we are not aware of any increased illness in other schools in NHS Borders.

“We would advise parents in NHS Borders to contact NHS 24 if their children are symptomatic with influenza type symptoms and to ensure they are kept at home until fully recovered.”

Pupils have been off for the scheduled half term break since last Thursday.

The children returned yesterday when there were 12 absent, seven with flu-like symptoms, said the health
 board.