The front page article published in the Harrow Observer (June 26) regarding the case of TB found at Whitmore High School is misleading and the headline suggestion of an 'outbreak' of TB at the school - when in fact there was one isolated case - is an exaggeration that has caused undue anxiety among parents.

The position is this: there was a case involving one student who is currently receiving treatment and is no longer infectious.

The screening was not 'forced' as your headline suggests. The school acted on medical advice from both the Health Protection Agency and the TB unit at Northwick Park Hospital to inform only the parents whose children had come into contact with the affected student. As a precaution the school offered testing to all these classmates and teachers, despite the risk of infection being extremely small.

It is not common practice for schools to contact the whole school population in such isolated cases. I would add that the TB unit complimented the school on the mature way the students handled the screening process.

While the anxieties of parents over their children's wellbeing are quite understandable, the headline of your front page story fuelled worry that was both needless and groundless.


Portfolio holder for schools and children's development