Would you care if your kids’ school had a 70% vaccination rate?

Last week, my five-year-old started school.

And on Friday, she uttered the words that send chills down any parent’s spine – especially one whose kid has just started school for the first time.

“Mummy,” she said in between mouthfuls of homemade fried rice, “my head is itchy.”


I must have looked back at her like a stricken deer in headlights, because she suddenly looked worried.

I practically leapt the kitchen counter to reach her and as I began combing through her hair, I peppered her with questions, all the while thinking:

Don’t be nits.
Don’t be nits.
Please for the love of God don’t be nits!

“How long has it been itchy? Where exactly does it itch? Have you felt like this all day, or just now? Did you share your hat with anyone?”

Fortunately, it was a run of the mill, everyday itch; there was not a nit in sight.

I know they’ll be part of our schooling future at some point, but right now – with a brand new baby, a two-year-old and a brand new school student – the timing for a nits infestation couldn’t be worse.

It’s not the only health risk that worries me about sending her to school, though. A school in Melbourne has apparently called for families to be sympathetic towards non-vaxxers and I’ve got to be honest – this story terrifies me.

Up to 1 in 4 of the children who attend Brunswick North West Primary School contracted chickenpox in December.

The school has a lower immunisation rate than the state and national averages, with the principal Trevor Bowen confirming that 73.2 per cent of his school’s students were immunised, compared with 92 per cent within the local postcode. The school had apparently called for tolerance towards those families who dodge vaccines.

I have no idea what the vaccination level is at my daughter’s new school, but this story has definitely prompted me to find out!

Would you send your kids to a school with vaccination rates of 73%? Or, like me, would you pull them out of there quick-smart and move them to a place of education that prioritises student health over a parent’s right to choose?