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Statement from Headteacher

Published on 09/10/17

Statement from headteacher Mrs Julia Hinchliffe.

We were informed this morning of the desperately sad news that one of our Year 11 students died in hospital over the weekend. We are communicating with his family at this very difficult time.

This student was a fantastic role model, a high achieving young man, who was held in high regard by all pupils and staff.  As a student at Orchard School Bristol for 5 years and a member of our community, he will be greatly missed.

We are doing our best to provide comfort and support to his friends and classmates, to children across the school and to staff.  He was a popular and much loved member of our school family.

Given the circumstances of his death, we are also working with the Health Protection team, and have sent a letter home with the children today.

We have informed students that support is available and that they are expected to attend school as usual.

We have been told the following by Thara Raj, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health England South West: “We understand that there will be concern among students, staff and parents following this death, and we are following national guidelines in implementing precautionary control measures with close household contacts.

“Those that have attended classes or other school based activities are not classified as close household contacts.  PHE wish to reassure all concerned that, apart from the very close contacts that have already received antibiotics, there is no need for a wider group to take antibiotics at present.

“The best advice remains for students, their family and friends to be aware of and alert to the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease, such as vomiting, severe headache, unexplained temperature rise, dislike of bright lights, neck stiffness, a non-blanching rash, drowsiness, and altered levels of consciousness.

“If anyone is feeling unusually unwell, and displaying the symptoms they should contact their GP immediately or call 111.”

You can read the full statement from Public Health England, here.

The latest letter to parents, dated 11th October, can be found, here.  

The orginal letter to parents, including signs and symptoms, is available, here.