EXCLUSIVE: Rugby schools and health experts reassure parents after symptomless pupils sent home over coronavirus fears

The heads of Rugby School and Bilton Grange have reassured parents after two pupils were sent home when it was learned that their father had recently returned from the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 11:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 11:38 am
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On Monday, January 27, Rugby School head master Peter Green wrote to parents to explain the situation and reassure them that there was no danger.

In the letter, he explains that the father of two children returned from a trip to Wuhan (where the coronavirus was first identified) eight days previously.

It is not clear which of the two schools the pupils attend.

The children spent some time at school after their father returned.

When the schools, which merged in January, learned of the situation, Peter Green and Bilton Grange head master Alex Osiatynski had the children sent home until February 3.

Mr Green states that neither the children or their father have shown any symptoms of coronavirus, adding that Public Health England have said they do not believe there is any danger.

The letter states: "I was advised this morning [January 27] that a parent had recently been in China, returning from Wuhan eight days ago.

"The parent has not shown any symptoms of ill health since returning to the UK.

"However, the Head of Bilton Grange and I decided to take the precaution of requesting that their two children be collected from their schools by a family member; this has now taken place.

"The parents have agreed to keep the children at home until Monday 3 February.

"Neither child has shown any signs of being unwell but the family will keep the situation under review, and the children will not return to school until all the family members have been medically checked and are deemed fit and well.

"Both Rugby School and Bilton Grange take the health and wellbeing of the children in our care extremely seriously.

"Although there appears to be no cause for concern, the head of Bilton Grange and I agreed to take immediate action to remove the children from our schools as soon as we were

advised of the parent’s recent stay in Wuhan province.

"We have advised Public Health England of the situation.

"While they have told us that they do not think there is any risk to the two children, and therefore to the two schools, I am sure that all our parents will agree that it is right for Rugby School and Bilton Grange to be extremely cautious.

"This is why we have taken the decision to temporarily remove the children from the two schools; Public Health England respects our decision to do so.

"If there is any change to the arrangement to keep the children absent from school for longer than this period, I will of course let you know."

A spokesperson for Rugby School confirmed the letter is genuine and told the Advertiser: "We are being extremely cautious - we've gone above and beyond what Public Health England recommended."

They added that, as of January 29, there is no update on what was written in the letter.

The British Government has advised that people returning from the affected areas in China 'self quarantine' for 14 days on arrival back in the UK.