School prom axed over swine flu fears

DISAPPOINTED sixth formers look set to miss out on their prom night after a bar postponed the event due to fears over a swine flu outbreak.

DISAPPOINTED sixth formers look set to miss out on their prom night after a bar postponed the event due to fears over a swine flu outbreak.

The year 13 students from St Alban's Catholic High School had been due to celebrate the completion of their A-levels with a party on Friday at 77 Bar and Eatery in Fore Hamlet, Ipswich.

However, the prom has been axed over swine flu fears following the closure of the school earlier this week.

A teacher at the Digby Road school was confirmed to be suffering from swine flu on Friday and health bosses took the decision to temporarily close the school on Monday.


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Several more cases involving both staff and pupils at the school are now suspected.

Tanya Hart, 77 Bar general manager, said the decision to postpone the event had been taken after consultation with the school and health experts.

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She said: “It was a difficult call for us but we have a duty of care.

“We consulted with all the authorities, including environmental health who were not in a position to give me any advice either way.

“I spoke to the head of the sixth form who completely understood. She accepted the decision.”

She said the prom had been postponed and would now take place on December 19.

However, one parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “This will be a major disappointment for the year 13 pupils, especially those who've bought or hired dresses specifically for the event.

“It's especially ironic because the pupils involved haven't even been in school recently as they finished their exams before the swine flu issue arose at St Alban's.

“I understand the organisers are frantically trying to arrange another venue.”

St Alban's took the decision to close its doors after discussions with anxious parents and staff, despite previous advice from the Health Protection Agency that it was safe to remain open.

Speaking at the time, Dennis McGarry, headteacher, said: “We hope to reduce the anxiety of everyone concerned with the school.

“We have written to parents letting them know about the closure and included some general advice about what to do if they are in anyway concerned.”

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