Latest news in Early years

See below for the latest news in Early years including:

• Streptococcus A and scarlet fever – guidance for schools & early years
• Stars in Our Schools – thank you for making it such a great success
• UNISON’s housing survey

Streptococcus A (strep A) and scarlet fever – guidance for schools & early years

We are aware of increased concern regarding scarlet fever and group A strep infections, due to an increase in cases and the very sad news about the children who have died of invasive group A streptococcal infections (iGAS). Whilst cases of iGAS remain rare, we have been pressing the Department for Education (DfE) to send guidance to schools and early years settings. This has now been sent – please see the DfE Education Hub which includes links to UKHSA guidance on Managing outbreaks & incidents and Preventing & controlling infection.

UNISON has produced a short summary for branches, reps and members setting out what you need to know and what infection prevention measures your settings should be taking. These include additional cleaning, handwashing regimes, enhanced ventilation, updating risk assessments and calling on all those with symptoms to stay at home. These basic mitigations will also assist in relation to the risk of other infectious diseases such as flu, Covid-19 and norovirus.

The key message for branches is to share the Department for Education/devolved administration, UKHSA and UNISON guidance with schools and early years settings, and to follow up on any member concerns with schools.

Public health bodies in the devolved nations have also issued letters to all education and early years settings which can be requested from schools. In addition:

• Advice from Public Health Scotland can be found here.
• General advice from Public Health Wales can be found here.
• UNISON Northern Ireland has requested guidance from the Department of Education and the employing authority. Please keep an eye on the UNISON Northern Ireland website and social media.

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