Head Lice Policy


The occurrence of head lice is the most common insect infestation in humans throughout the world. In Queensland, infestation occurs mainly in children of primary school age. However, head lice infestation may affect people of any age, nationality, gender or socio-economic status. It is as much a social issue as a health or educational issue, and the way that it is approached can have significant influence on a student’s emotional, social and educational development.
Head lice do not pose any serious health risks but they can be difficult to manage.
Schools have a responsibility for minimising risk to school community members of being affected by head lice while at schools, but parents have responsibility for prevention, detection and treatment of head lice among their own children.
Our school utilises the following guidelines, adapted from guidelines developed by Education Queensland, for minimising the presence of head lice at school and managing head lice incidents.
(Please note that any reference to “parent” also includes persons with legal responsibility for the student.)
Source: BCEC Occupational Health and Safety (BCE Document)

St Agatha's Procedures for Parents

Once a case of headlice is reported to the school, it is our policy to
  1. Send a general letter to all parents of that particular class, asking them to to check and if need be treat their child’s hair.
  2. Not allow any child to return to school until the parent sends along the tear off section indicating they have checked and where necessary treated their child's hair.
  3. Send a follow up letter to any student who arrives without the tear-off, so that we can ensure all parents have checked their child.
We recognise that head lice can be difficult to control, but ask all parents for their full co-operation in this matter. It is important that all parents regularly check their child’s hair, and that of other family members, and that the school is notified immediately when headlice are found.
There is no general expectation that schools will physically check students for the presence of head lice. However, if the principal suspects the presence of head lice at school and determines that physically checking students would be an effective part of a head lice control strategy, then staff members or other willing adults authorised by the principal may physically check for head lice only if:
  1. the parent does not object;
  2. the child agrees;
  3. infection control guidelines are observed; and
  4. student privacy is respected at all times.
Current information on recommended treatment is available from Queensland Health, the local pharmacy or doctor.