South East Wales

South Wales school sickness advice leaflet withdrawn

Leaflet Image copyright CSCJES
Image caption A leading paediatrician says the table of advice has been 'taken out of context'

A controversial leaflet advising parents when to keep sick children home from school is to be withdrawn.

The advice said pupils should not miss lessons for illnesses such as glandular fever, tonsillitis or conjunctivitis.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said the information had been "taken out of context".

A body representing six councils said in an email that the leaflet would be withdrawn as the college had not given permission for its logo to be used.

The leaflet had been produced by the Central South Consortium Joint Education Service (CSCJES) for the councils covering Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Vale of Glamorgan.

It had caused an outcry among parents who believed it was telling them to send unwell children to school.

Image caption Dr Mair Parry says parents are the best judges of their child's well-being

But Dr Mair Parry, child health officer in Wales for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, had warned that the advice over children's fitness for school had been "taken out of context".

"It's not actually about the child who has the condition - it's about the children who don't yet have it and how to limit the chances of them getting it," she told BBC Wales in November.

"(Parents) are the best judge of whether their child is well enough - whether their child is still contagious or not is a more medical question."

'Seriously flawed'

In an email seen by BBC Wales, CSCJES lead director Christopher Bradshaw said: "As the Consortium did not have the consent of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to use their name in the leaflet, it has been agreed with the Royal College, to remove the leaflet from the Consortium website and the Royal College has offered to support the Consortium with future attendance campaigns."

The consortium said it would not recall printed copies of the leaflet that were given to parents, but would remove the leaflet from its website.

There were no plans to produce a replacement leaflet, it added.

Mountain Ash school governor and Rhondda Cynon Taff councillor Pauline Jarman welcomed the consortium's decision.

"I'm pleased that this leaflet has been withdrawn from the website because it was seriously flawed," she said.

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