Glasgow west end school closes after Norovirus outbreak

A Glasgow west end school has been shut due to a suspected Norovirus related outbreak.

The west end school has been closed.

Kelbourne Park primary and nursery closed on Monday after an outbreak of sickness and diarrhoea with children and a ‘large number’ of staff infected.

It comes as Sunnyside Primary in Craigend was hit with a Covid outbreak this week – with half the kids off and 10 teachers affected. The council’s education boss said it can’t close as vulnerable families need support and extra staff have been brought it to help run it. The school has been deep cleaned and all children were asked to take a lateral flow test.

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Additional support needs school Kelbourne Park on Hotspur Street reported workers being struck with a sickness bug over the weekend.

Glasgow City Council director of education Maureen McKenna said: “We had an outbreak of sickness and diarrhoea in one of our schools and we closed it on Monday. We closed it because a large number of staff were affected and there were children with underlying health issues.”

Headteacher Andrea MacBeath said: “I know this has been an exceptionally disrupted term already but due to an outbreak of sickness and diarrhoea across staff and children we have decided to close on Monday. Staff numbers were diminished on Friday and several staff have contacted me over the weekend to say that they too have become ill.”

She added: “I can only apologise for the upset that is likely to cause but I am hoping that an extra day will give staff time to recuperate and ensure that everyone can come back to school safely on Tuesday.”

Ten staff have been affected by Covid at Sunnyside Primary in the city, the council’s education, skills and early years policy committee heard yesterday.

Ms McKenna told councillors fewer than half the children are in school – and it is operating effectively as childcare hub for working and vulnerable families.

She said: “ Let’s keep risk assessments and mitigations in place but we have to balance that with the negative impact that we know not being in school has on particular families.”

Ms McKenna added: “The reason we are not closing is because we have an obligation in parts of the city where there are high levels of deprivation where we support our families while it is safe to do so.”

Responding to a question from Councilor Elspeth Kerr about when a school closure would be required, Ms McKenna said: “It is about balancing the safety of the children. We have brought in additional staff to that school. We have closed the language and the communication resource.”

She told the committee parents have been supportive and fabulous.

A council spokeswoman said: “The school has seen a spate of positive results over the last week in line with a rise in the community.

“The school is working with families to keep them updated on developments and reassure them that all the public health and risk assessments being adhered to in the building to minimise the risk of any spread in the school.

“We are all still dealing with a worldwide pandemic and everyone can do their bit to continue to follow the advice and guidance to help reduce and manage the spread of the virus.”