An outbreak of a sickness bug forced a Burnham-On-Sea school to close this morning (Friday) – and the head teacher has sent a letter to parents defending its sickness policy.

Burnham Infants School sent pupils home after scores of youngsters have gone down with the mystery bug this week.

Headteacher Janet Sadiq says: “As you will all be aware, we have had a significant number of children picking up a sickness bug over the last week.”

“This is very common at this time of year and those parents who have older children will be aware that this has occurred at Burnham Infants in the past and usually once or twice a year.”

“The fact that we have been trialling a 24 hour return to school policy (provided your child is well enough) has not definitely contributed to more cases this year, however we will be reverting back to our previous policy of 48 hours with immediate effect.”

“Therefore, children should not return to school until 48 hours after the last episode of sickness. I hope that parents/carers who had previously felt that 48 hours was too long, will understand the need for us to strictly adhere to this.”

“I fully appreciate the concerns that many parents/carers have had over the last few weeks about the 24 hour return policy and apologise for any distress or inconvenience that this may have caused.”

“We always have the best interests of all the children and their families at the heart of everything we do. If you have any further concerns regarding this, please come and see me. I hope that we will have a healthy few weeks leading up to the Christmas festivities.”

The school has also been forced to postpone its Christmas fair, which was due to be held on Saturday (November 25th) due to the sickness.

One parent told “We received a call from the school at 9.30am to say the school was closing and to collect our son.”

“There’s been a nasty bug doing the rounds in recent days, which has spread so quickly – it’s quite scary and many parents are unhappy about the new 24 hour policy, which appears to have contributed to the closure. Hopefully it will quickly get resolved.”