Coronavirus: Mum angered after her Filipino daughters were barred from Auckland school

An Auckland mum is angry at her daughters' school after they were told to stay away from class amid coronavirus fears

The girls - who are Filipino - were told to leave Papakura Normal School on Monday after returning from the Philippines during the school holidays. They never travelled to China.

Their mum Mary Jane Dumalaon says she's annoyed about the situation.

"I feel so sad and frustrated about it because I knew from the start it was wrong."

The school has since apologised and admits having made a mistake she says, and her daughters are now back at school.

The school's principal Derek Linington confirmed to Newshub the children had been asked to stay away from class but emphasised the school was acting with the very best intentions and "at the heart of our decisions have been the health of our students, staff and community".

"Like schools across the country, we are working very hard to deal appropriately and sensitively around the evolving response to the virus," Linington said.

"While we initially asked a family to self-isolate, based on our discussions with the Ministry of Education, we have advised the family that they are able to return to school.  We will continue to monitor advisories and act on Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education advice."

But other schools are also excluding students unnecessarily.

In late January, Auckland's Saint Cuthbert's College barred any student or staff member who had travelled anywhere in the world where there was a confirmed coronavirus case from school for seven days.

Principal Justine Mahon says that meant excluding more than 200 students and staff, including a group that had been in the United States playing water polo. 

Students were also required to get doctors' notes to prove they were okay.

But Mahon says when students started arriving back in January, a lot of information about the coronavirus and how it spread remained unclear.

"It was such a fast-moving situation, we didn't know where it was going to go."

The Health Ministry says quarantining students is not necessary unless they've recently been in mainland China.