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Millions of parents sending their children to school when they’re sick

20th September 2019
Posted by Aston Avery

Millions of parents admit they send their children to school when they’re sick – putting classmates at risk of illness. Coughs, colds, chicken pox and vomiting bugs are just some of the contagious illnesses kids are being sent to school with. The average child will feel unwell on seven days over the average school year – and will go into school on five of those.

More than half of parents (60%) admitted their child has still attended classes even though they were suffering with a contagious infection such as a cold or stomach bug. More than a third even claimed that they are certain an illness has spread around the school after they sent in their ill child.

The study with parents of children aged 3-16 found being unable to take time off work or school attendance rates means seven in 10 have sent their offspring in when they are feeling under the weather. But the research, by hygiene and health company Essity, found that more than a quarter of parents have packed their unwell children off to school because the youngster didn’t want to miss something important such as a school trip or sports day.

Aston spoke to Matthew Burton, headteacher of Thornhill Community Academy in Dewsbury and star of Educating Yorkshire and Peter Cansell, national executive information officer at the National Association of Primary Education (NAPE) to discuss the research in further detail.