Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West Peter Black has condemned the latest illness absence advice handed out to parents of school-age children in Bridgend as ‘wholly irresponsible.’
The advice comes from the Central South Consortium which is a partnership between Bridgend, Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf, and Merthyr councils; and says that parents should send their sick children to school when they are suffering from illnesses like glandular fever, and tonsillitis.
Mr Black said: “This advice was handed out to parents last week in a leaflet. It suggests that parents should be sending children to school when they are suffering from illnesses such as glandular fever, and tonsillitis as well as infectious conditions such as conjunctivitis, slapped cheek, and hand foot and mouth.
“Such a suggestion is wholly irresponsible. Not only is there the danger of passing on these illnesses to otherwise healthy classmates and staff, but children can be very poorly with tonsillitis, and glandular fever.
“Last year a constituent of mine had one of her children hospitalized for 48 hours with tonsillitis, and a temperature of 103 degrees. Where on earth is the sense of sending children to school in such a condition? What on earth do the writers of this leaflet think a child learns when they are that ill?
“The leaflet goes on to say that children with certain conditions should keep away from ‘vulnerable children, and pregnant females’. How is anyone – including the children themselves- to know if a child is vulnerable? Or if a woman is in the early stages of pregnancy?
“I cannot help but feel that the Consortium is prioritising its own objective of increasing attendance over the well-being of children in Bridgend.
“That is why Bridgend Council need to get a grip, and stop this nonsense now.”