School closes due to staff and pupil bout of sickness

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A SCHOOL in Gosport has temporarily closed after 10 members of staff and 50 pupils called in sick.

Leesland Church of England Junior School, in Gordon Road, Gosport, closed at 1.15pm on Monday after two more staff fell ill during the day, in addition to the 10 who called in sick that morning.

Sue Hine, executive headteacher at both Leesland Junior and Leesland Infant School, said the school had been closed because the number of staff off sick meant that there were not enough first aid trained people at the school on the day.

‘It was one of those times when it was best to close and clean up, and children are back on Thursday to hopefully enjoy the end of term,’ she said.

‘It’s just unfortunate – we really wanted to make sure it didn’t spread any more and we wanted our children to enjoy Christmas.

‘It seems that it just hit us, we don’t know what it was, it’s not anything we can really do anything about.’

The Junior School will reopen at the normal time tomorrow, after cleaners have carried out a deep clean of the school, normally only done during the holidays.

The carpets at the school have also been shampooed under the supervision of the site manager.

Parents of pupils at the school were sent text messages to tell them of the closure at 1.15pm, with the majority of the pupils picked up by 2pm.

Mrs Hine said: ‘Parents responded very well, I think they were very grateful that we acted promptly and were making sure the children, or nobody else, picked anything up if it was contagious.’

One classroom at the school was left open for children to wait in for their parents to arrive after 2pm and the regular after-school club held at the Junior School was moved to Leesland Infant School.

The infant school remains open, despite staff and pupils there having recently suffered from the same sickness bug.

Staff at the Infant School were able to cover ill staff, as the sickness bug affected staff there on different days, rather than at the same time.

Mrs Hine said: ‘A lot of children had the cough and the cold and the flu and that has certainly been prevalent in the infants.

‘It just seems that the sickness hit the Junior School in a big way.’

Mrs Hine closed the school after she contacted the chair of the board of governors at the school to get permission for her to carry out her decision.