The Hazard – Head Lice

Head lice are tiny insect parasites that live on the human head and feed on the scalp several times a day. They are not dangerous, don’t carry diseases and are not a sign of poor hygiene. They are however contagious.

Head lice outbreaks are a common problem throughout education establishments. Parents/carers are primarily responsible for detecting and treating head lice. The School’s role in the management of head lice outbreaks includes informing parents of outbreaks and providing information and support for parents and students.

Policy

Presbyterian Ladies’ College recognises the need for a consistent and supportive approach for managing head lice outbreaks. It is our policy that:

  • When head lice is suspected in the College, students are provided with an alert notice to take home to their families requesting immediate treatment; and
  • Students identified with head lice at Presbyterian Ladies’ College are not removed from class or excluded from the College. A copy of the Head Lice Fact Sheet is made available to parents/carers.
  • We maintain a procedure for managing head lice outbreaks and inform the College community promptly; and
  • Student confidentiality is maintained at all times.

Presbyterian Ladies’ College Procedure for Managing Head Lice Outbreaks

When a member of staff suspects a student is infested with head lice, they are responsible for informing the Head of School of the suspected outbreak.

The Head of School is responsible for formulating a response strategy designed to contain the outbreak whilst minimising disruption to families of students affected.

Response strategies may include:

  • Providing the affected student and entire class with the Head Lice Alert Notice;
  • Expanding the alert to all students in the affected student’s year;
  • Expanding the alert to all students on the relevant College campus;
  • Providing all parents/carers with a copy of relevant guidelines for treating head lice;
  • Forwarding reminder letters in the event the outbreak is not contained; and
  • Requesting parents to confirm that they have taken action.

Implementation

This policy is implemented through a combination of:

  • Staff training and supervision;
  • Effective record keeping procedures;
  • Effective incident notification procedures;
  • Effective communication procedures with the student’s parents/carers; and
  • Initiation of corrective actions where necessary.

Discipline for Breach of Policy

Where a staff member breaches this policy Presbyterian Ladies’ College may take disciplinary action.