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An excellent education for all


Advice on the coronavirus for places of education
Coronavirus Advice Poster – Education – 4 March 2020
Medicine Administration

If pupils require medication to be administered at school, parents must contact the school office and complete a standard form stating the name of the medication, dosage, time of administration and permission for staff to supervise. School staff can only administer medicine that parents provide.

Infectious Diseases

Colds, flu and gastroenteritis are the most common infections affecting children of school age. It is important that you keep your child off school if they are unwell and for 48 hours after they stop vomiting or diarrhoea.

It is also important that your child understands how to prevent picking up and spreading such infections. Good, effective hand washing is the one easy solution to preventing the spread of germs.

You will be able to get further advice about good health from staff in your health centre or GP practice.

For advice about early detection and treatment for other infectious diseases eg chickenpox and mumps, please consult your GP or nurse.

Infection Control Guidelines


All parents/carers of children with asthma are sent an Asthma UK School Asthma Card to give to their child’s doctor or asthma nurse to complete. Parents/carers are asked to return them to the school. From this information the school keeps its asthma register, which is available to all school staff. School Asthma Cards are then sent to parents/carers of children with asthma on an annual basis to update. Parents/carers are also asked to update or exchange the card for a new one if their child’s medicines, or how much they take, changes during the year.

The school’s asthma policy can be viewed here.

School Health Service

Orkney School Health Link

Orkney Health and Care provides an Orkney-wide school health service to all school-age children and young people, to promote their health and wellbeing, and to provide them with information to make informed decisions on lifestyle choices. Our aim is that children and young people are as healthy as possible so they can gain the most benefit from their education, and that they will make healthy choices and therefore reduce the incidence of ill health in the future.

The service undertakes routine screening and are involved with child protection, health surveillance, health promotion and education, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination and 1:1 support and advice. It can help any parents with parenting, through the Triple P Positive Parenting Programme, and help children and young people overcome bedwetting.

It also provides advice and support to education staff and deliver training on many health conditions that impact on childhood e.g. asthma, epilepsy and allergies. It supports and coordinates paediatric clinics and acts as a link between consultants and parents / carers and children.

The School Nurse Team covers all schools in Orkney and comprises a public health nurse (specialist practitioner), registered nurse and healthcare support worker who are based in the School Health Department at the Kirkwall Health Centre Annex. Pupils, parents / carers can request information and advice at any time. Other health professionals and teaching staff can also request advice and input from the school nurse for a child with parental and / or the young person’s consent.

  • Health screening – the School Nurse Team offers health screening to all P1 (growth and vision) and P7 pupils (vision only) in Orkney schools.  Health screening will not be done without parent/carer consent.
  • Immunisations – Secondary school girls are offered HPV immunisations. At the appropriate time information booklets and consent forms will be issued.  Immunisations will not be done without parent/carer consent.
  • Health Education and Promotion – The School Health Team has an important role in encouraging healthy lifestyles, working closely with teaching staff, pupils, parents / carers and the community.

The School Health Service can be contacted on 01856 888262 or at

Head Lice

Head lice are a common problem, particularly in school children aged 4-11.  Anyone with hair can get them, no matter how clean or how long the hair is.  They are the size of a pin head when they hatch and smaller than a match head when they are fully grown.

Parents and carers should aim to check their children’s hair once a week during hair washing. The best detection method is wet combing.   Wet combing is a non-insecticide alternative that involves combing out all lice with a fine-toothed detection comb. This can be done on dry or wet hair but wet combing is preferable. To be effective, these steps need to be repeated every three days for up to three weeks to ensure all head lice are removed.  The comb must be fine enough and robust enough to catch the lice. Your pharmacist will be able to recommend a suitable fine-toothed detection comb.

Head lice treatment options include silicone oil, an insecticide product or ‘bug busting’.   These are all available on the Minor Ailment Service (if you are eligible) from your pharmacist, or free on prescription from your doctor and from nurse prescribers (some practice nurses and health visitors). You can also buy them over the counter at your local pharmacy.

You can seek advice from your school nurse, health visitor, pharmacist or doctor about which treatments might work best for you – this is especially important for people with asthma or allergies, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, and carers of very young children.

If living head lice are still found after two different treatments, ask a health professional for advice.  Please remember to check all family members at the same time and arrange treatment if living, moving lice are found.

Further information can be found here:

Head Lice Facts Detection Treatment

Clinics and Appointments

From time to time some children have to attend clinics (eye clinics, dentist, doctor, etc.). Please inform the school of these visits and arrange for your child to be collected if he / she must leave school to attend the clinic.

No child will be allowed away from school during school hours unless accompanied by a responsible adult or unless written permission to do so has been given by the parent.

Useful Links

Norovirus Information Leaflet