School closes early for Christmas after more than 170 pupils hit by flu bug

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A primary school will close one day early for Christmas after almost half the pupils and numerous members of staff fell ill with seasonal flu.

Thomas Hickman School in Belgrave Road, Aylesbury will close at the end of today (Thursday) following a week of cancelled Christmas productions and concerts.

Headteacher Andy George said: “We first noticed the impact of the flu like illness on Monday when there was a massive drop in children attending school. We have 400 on roll and 80 were away, as well as five staff.”

Following protocol Mr George contacted Thames Valley Health Protection Agency and has been in touch with them each day as the numbers of ill pupils and staff increased. Extra hand washing stations were installed and deep cleaning of the school took place.

Yesterday 174 children and 15 staff were off so after speaking to Bucks County Council and the chairman of the governors Mr George took the decision to close the school a day early.

He said: “It’s been hectic but the staff we have left have been fantastic in getting us through. The Health Protection Agency has been a great support and given us excellent guidance. Over the holidays the school will be steam cleaned.”