Beds, Herts & Bucks

Comic Relief: No red noses for germ-fearing pupils

Red nose for Comic Relief Image copyright Comic Relief
Image caption Pupils were worried about accidentally swapping noses and spreading germs, their head teacher said

Children at a primary school are not wearing red noses for Comic Relief because they are worried about spreading germs, their teacher said.

Pupils at Aspley Guise Lower School in Bedfordshire voted against the noses in an assembly, after a spate of colds and sickness, head Melanie Mercer said.

It came amid fears children could drop them and put on another child's red nose, spreading germs.

They were fundraising on Red Nose Day in other ways, she added.

The school, near Woburn Sands, teaches pupils between the ages of four and nine.

Click here for more on noses and other news from Bedfordshire

Image copyright Google
Image caption The school teaches children aged four to nine

The school council, which is made up of pupils from all year groups, brought the issue of germ-spreading to the attention of other pupils, Mrs Mercer said.

"We've had a few children with a sickness bug, and some with colds.

"The council members told the pupils that if they dropped them, they wouldn't be able to tell whose nose was whose, and when they mentioned the germs and other things, they all went 'urgh' and thought it was horrible."

She added: "We sold the noses at the school and pupils know they can wear them when they go home. No-one has complained."

Image copyright Comic Relief
Image caption "Coughs and sneezes spread diseases", the saying goes - and pupils were worried the noses would add to the problem

The decision not to don the rubber noses was "a little bit over the top", said Dr Andrew Nealt, a microbiologist at the Hertfordshire-based Rothamsted Research Institute.

Germs spread readily among children as they were not the best at personal hygiene, not always washing their hands, he added.

A Comic Relief spokesperson said: "Wearing red noses is just one of hundreds of ways schools all over the country are getting involved in Red Nose Day.

"We are incredibly grateful to each and every school for their support, however they show it."

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites