Winter Readiness Support Pack

Protect your setting this winter

Winter is fast approaching and we want to help you in preparing for the season in order to reduce the spread of infection in childcare settings and in the wider community. Please see the following winter readiness pack for schools and nurseries which has been updated for 2019-20. This includes resources to help you to avoid illness in children and staff, and minimise disruption to your services.

Why is this important?

Children and staff in educational settings are particularly susceptible to the spread of infections, such as seasonal influenza (flu) and gut infections (such as norovirus) which increase over the winter months. Outbreaks often occur due to the close contact between children and staff. However, the impact can be reduced by following the advice provided and through adopting good infection control practices.

Key messages:

  1. Be prepared – go through the checklists for flu and norovirus and ensure you are prepared in terms of infection control procedures and vaccination
  2. Recognise outbreaks – the Spotty Book will give you information on how to recognise outbreaks, in particular have a look at the influenza, norovirus/gastroenteritis and meningococcal chapters
  3. Report outbreaks to your local Health Protection team 7 days a week. Tel: 0300 303 8162 Option 1 (Health Protection). Please have at hand:
  • Numbers of affected children and staff
  • Date of onset of the first and most recent case
  • Signs, symptoms and duration of illness
  • Locations of affected cases e.g. one class or year group or all areas are affected
  • Any hospitalised cases
  • Notify any co-circulating scarlet fever

Flu vaccinations

It is important that all children from aged 2 to those in year 6 at school are immunised against flu. Children develop the same range of symptoms as adults and can become very ill, or even die, from flu, but if young children become unwell they are also particularly likely to spread infections to other vulnerable people. Immunising children against flu can therefore protect them, their families, and also the wider community in which they live.

Children aged 2 and 3 years old are offered the vaccine via their GP, whilst those aged 4 – 10/11 years (Reception to Year 6) will be offered the vaccine at school, via their local school aged immunisation provider.

Children and staff in at-risk groups of any age are also offered immunisation via their GP

You can find out more information about flu here:

You can also contact your local authority health protection lead: Sarah Ogilvie, Consultant in Public Health