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St Bernadette's is an 'Outstanding Catholic School' (Section 48 Inspection 2021). We are an OFSTED 'Good School' with Outstanding features in 'Behaviour and Attitudes' and 'Personal Development' (Ofsted Inspection 2022)
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Absence Procedures

Absence and Withdrawals
If your child is ill please email the office at : or telephone 01908 692438 on the first day of illness before 9.00 am and follow up the call with a written note on your child’s return to school.
Please use the following information as a guide when deciding when your child
is fit to return to school:

Scarlet Fever: If your child has the symptoms of Scarlet fever, they must remain at home for 24 hours after commencing appropriate antibiotic treatment. If no antibiotics have been administered, they will be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks and therefore must remain at home for this period. * Please see below for further details regarding Scarlet Fever and invasive group A strep (iGAS)

Chickenpox: Six days from onset of rash.
Conjunctivitis: It is not necessary to be absent from school
Vomiting and/or Diarrhoea: Forty eight hours from last bout of sickness.
Impetigo: Needs medication until the skin heals.
Measles: Four days from onset of rash.
Mumps: Minimum of seven days
Verrucae: Verrucae must be covered, no absence necessary
Whooping Cough: Twenty one days from onset of cough.


Scarlet fever and invasive group A strep (iGAS)

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has reported that scarlet fever cases are higher than we would typically see at this time of year. Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria called group A streptococci. These bacteria also cause other respiratory and skin infections such as strep throat and impetigo (a skin infection).

In very rare occasions, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause an illness called invasive Group A strep (iGAS). While still uncommon, there has been an increase in invasive Group A strep cases this year, particularly in children under 10. Sadly there have also been nine deaths involving iGAS recorded in children since September.

Advice for Parents and Carers

Symptoms of scarlet fever and when to see a GP

Scarlet fever is a contagious bacterial infection that mostly affects young children. It is easily treated with antibiotics. The first signs of scarlet fever can be flu-like symptoms, including high temperature, a sore throat and swollen neck glands (a large lump on the side of your neck).

A rash appears 12 to 48 hours later. It looks like small, raised bumps and starts on the chest and tummy, then spreads. The rash makes your skin feel rough, like sandpaper. On white skin the rash looks pink or red. It may be harder to see on brown and black skin, but you can still feel it. A white coating also appears on the tongue. This peels, leaving the tongue red, swollen and covered in little bumps (called “strawberry tongue”). The rash does not appear on the face, but the cheeks can look red. The redness may be harder to see on brown and black skin.

Contact a GP if your child:

  • Has scarlet fever symptoms
  • Does not get better in a week (after seeing a GP)
  • Has scarlet fever and chickenpox at the same time
  • Is ill again, weeks after scarlet fever got better – this can be a sign of a complication, such as rheumatic fever
  • Is feeling unwell and has been in contact with someone who has scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is very easily spread. Check with a GP before you go in. They may suggest a phone consultation.

Scarlet Fever and School Attendance

If your child has the symptoms of Scarlet fever, they must remain at home for 24 hours after commencing appropriate antibiotic treatment. If no antibiotics have been administered, they will be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks and therefore must remain at home for this period.

What to do if you feel your child seems seriously unwell

As a parent, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement. Contact NHS 111 or your GP if:

  • your child is getting worse
  • your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
  • your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
  • your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39°C or higher
  • your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty
  • your child is very tired or irritable

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
  • there are pauses when your child breathes
  • your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
  • your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake


Preventative Measures

Good hand and respiratory hygiene are important for stopping the spread of many bugs. By teaching our child how to wash their hands properly with soap for 20 seconds, using a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes, and keeping away from others when feeling unwell, they will be able to reduce the risk of picking up or spreading infections.


Appointments in School Time
All routine medical and dental appointments should be made outside of school hours For hospital and urgent appointments, a parent, or adult known to the school, must collect the child and written notification from the medical professional should be presented to the school office. No child will be allowed to leave during school hours unless signed out by the accompanying adult. 
If you need to send a different adult to the one who usually collects your child, you must provide them with a password which you are required to share with the school office.


We expect 100% attendance and will not authorise any holidays taken during term time. Leave of absence for other exceptional occasions may be formally requested via the school form obtained from the school office but will not be sanctioned automatically. The school is judged by its attendance percentages and if you join St. Bernadette’s it is expected that you will want to contribute to the highest possible attendance for your child. Excellent attendance gives your child the best possible opportunity for maximum social and academic achievements. 


Attendance Concerns

If your child's attendance drops below 95%, for whatever reason, this becomes a concern for his or her academic and social wellbeing. In such cases, you will be contacted by the Headteacher highlighting these concerns. Any attendance figure lower than 90% is recognised by the Department for Education as Persistent Absenteeism and is cause for great concern due to the negative impact upon a child's education. In such circumstances, it will be necessary for the parents / carers to meet with a member of the Senior Leadership Team to ensure a plan is put in place to improve your child's attendance.