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More than 600 pupils absent as Norovirus strikes Dartford school

PUBLISHED: 11:49 11 March 2016 | UPDATED: 15:38 11 March 2016

Mother checking temperature of sick daughter

Mother checking temperature of sick daughter

Archant

Garry Ratcliffe, Oakfield Community Primary School, invited parents to keep children at home today if they wished

Just 60 pupils are present at a Dartford primary school today after hundreds of parents opted to keep their children at home following an outbreak of the Norovirus.

The virus, which causes vomiting and diarrhea, hit an increasing number of students at Oakfield Community Primary School throughout the week, culminating in 100 children - representing about 15 per cent of the total at the school - calling in sick yesterday.

That led executive headteacher, Garry Ratcliffe to write a letter to concerned parents, inviting them to keep their children at home today should they wish.

More than 600 took that option, meaning little more than 10 per cent of the school’s children are in classrooms today.

Mr Ratcliffe said: “I made the decision at around 5pm last night that we would partially close the school today and give parents the option.

“We are absolutely clear about our duties, but we care about the community as well.

“We didn’t want to completely close the school because that creates problems for working parents, and those that are in today are still getting a good quality education.”

“Over the weekend there will be a thorough clean and it will be business as usual on Monday.”

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