Ski trip students not sent home from Kettering school despite Italy coronavirus fears

One parent described the decision as "stupid"

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 10:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 10:56 am

Dozens of students who went on a ski trip to coronavirus-hit northern Italy have not been sent home from a Kettering school.

Southfield School pupils returned from Sestriere at the weekend, which is not one of the areas in lockdown but in a region affected by the outbreak. There is no current advice to self-isolate unless any symptoms develop.

Those who have travelled north of Pisa - which includes Sestriere - are asked to stay at home for 14 days if they develop flu-like symptoms.

Southfield School in Kettering.

Several schools in England have advised staff and students to stay at home after they returned from skiing trips in northern Italy but the Lewis Road school - which is being inspected by Ofsted today - has not taken this decision.

A school spokesman said they would monitor the situation. They said: "We took one coach load of students to Sestriere in Italy on the France/Italy border.

"The nearest quarantined town was approx. 270km away from this resort.

"We have had no students or staff on this trip show any symptoms.

Sestriere is not one of the contained areas but is in the northern Italian area where foreign office travel advice has been issued

"Our message yesterday and this morning was also to inform the families of our wider student body, should they have also travelled during half-term. We’ve been in touch with the NHS and will continue to monitor the situations, via the official routes."

The school's leadership team met over the situation this morning.

Ashlie Butterworth told her daughter, who is in Year 11, to come home and work over email.

She said: "I think it is stupid and this is a great way to spread it.

"If one child does have it it could now go across the school.

"This is putting the kids' lives at risk and once there is an outbreak the NHS is going to struggle.

"This is very silly of the school. Just keep them off school for a week and do a deep clean."

Others have also taken to social media to say they would be telling their daughter to come home.

Hundreds of cases have emerged in the nearest major city of Turin, where museums have closed because of the outbreak.

Several people have died from the virus in Italy. It has affected tens of thousands across the world after an outbreak in Wuhan in China.

Public Health England's advice says: "If you have returned from northern Italy since February 19 and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms."

Bishop Stopford School in Headlands also emailed coronavirus advice to parents this morning.