In this review of 66 outbreaks of infectious disease in schools in England and Wales between 1979–88, 27 were reported from independent and 39 from maintained schools. Altogether, over 8000 children and nearly 500 adults were affected. Most of the outbreaks investigated were due to gastrointestinal infections which affected about 5000 children; respiratory infections affected a further 2000 children. Fifty-two children and seven adults were admitted to hospital and one child with measles died. Vaccination policies and use of immunoglobulin for control and prevention of outbreaks in schools have been discussed.