When we use the term “school germs” we are generally referring to the various bacteria and viruses that can be present in a school environment and contribute to the spread of illnesses.

Schools might have only just re-opened their doors after the festive break, but a release published by the Department for Education reported an absence rate of 6.6% for the week commencing 8th January 2024*.

According to the November 2021 census, 45% of teachers took a leave of absence due to sickness in 2020/21, which calculates to an average of 8.6 days of sickness-related absence per teacher. A total of 1,971,300 days were lost to absence**. It should be noted that while the COVID-19 pandemic affected the figures of sickness absence as expected, “these figures relate to sickness absence only and do not include non-attendance due to, for example, isolation and shielding”.

There is a basic rule when it comes to communal environments of any type, this being that wherever there are people, there is associated bacteria.

And in short, more people = more bacteria.

How School Germs Travel

School germs travel across the environment and beyond in a number of ways that blow Transport for London’s system out of the water (which, to be fair, isn’t too difficult some days!).

how school germs travel

5 Facts About School Germs

5 facts about school germs

How to Stop the Spread of School Germs

Good hygiene practices are imperative to minimise the spread of school germs:

Wash and dry your hands regularly

Regular handwashing with soap and water, especially after using the toilet, before meals, and after coughing or sneezing will help reduce the transmission of germs.

Cover up coughs and sneezes

Teach students and staff to cover their mouths and noses with tissues or elbows when coughing or sneezing. Use paper tissues to sneeze into rather than hankies, and dispose of them immediately.

Clean and disinfect regularly

Regularly clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces, such as desks, doorknobs, and light switches. This is where hiring a commercial cleaning company like Kent Gurkha for your school cleaning needs comes in handy!


Stay vaccinated against preventable illnesses, such as influenza and other contagious diseases.


Ensure there is proper ventilation in classrooms and shared spaces to reduce the concentration of airborne particles.

By implementing these measures, schools can create a healthier environment and help prevent the spread of school germs and infectious diseases among students and staff.

Kent Gurkha has been providing school cleaning services throughout Kent for almost 20 years. We know that a clean learning environment can have several significant health benefits for students, teachers, and staff.

Maintaining a clean school is essential for promoting overall well-being. The Kent Gurkha team takes pride in the work we do in order to help to create a conducive atmosphere for effective learning.

Contact us for a quote tailored to your school cleaning needs. Email info@kentgurkha.co.uk, phone 01622 752 192 or send us a message today.

* Source: Department for Education Pupil Attendance in Schools Release Week 2, 2024
** Source: School workforce in England, Reporting year 2021 – Explore education statistics – GOV.UK (explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk)