When should I keep my child off school because of coronavirus? A quick guide for parents and carers

If you are a parent or a carer, it’s important you understand when your child should not attend school to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

You can find a list of the most common scenarios below, along with information about when a child can return to the classroom.

You can also find a handy guide here

The symptoms to look out for in your child are: a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

What to do if my child has coronavirus symptoms:

  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Child should get a test
  • Whole household must self-isolate while waiting for test result
  • Inform school immediately about test results

Your child can return to school when their test comes back negative – provided they have been fever free for 48 hours and feel well.

What to do if my child tests positive for coronavirus:

  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Child must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when symptoms started (or from day of test, if no symptoms)
  • Inform school immediately about test results
  • Whole household must self-isolate for 14 days from day when symptoms started (or from day of test, if no symptoms)

Your child can return to school after 10 days, once they feel better, and has been fever-free for at least 48 hours.

They can return to school even if they have a cough or loss of smell and taste. These symptoms can last for several weeks once the infection is gone.

 

What to do if somebody in my household has coronavirus symptoms:

  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Household member with symptoms should get a test
  • Whole household must self-isolate while waiting for test result
  • Inform school immediately about test result

Your child can return to school when the household member’s test is negative, and child does not have coronavirus symptoms.

 

What to do if somebody in my household has tested positive for coronavirus:

  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Whole household must self-isolate for 14 days from day when symptoms started (or from day of test, if no symptoms). Everyone must complete the 14 day isolation even if other members of the household tests negative during that period.

Your child can return to school following 14 days of self-isolation.

 

What to do if NHS Test and Trace has identified my child as a ‘close contact’ of a confirmed coronavirus case:

  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Child must self-isolate for 14 days (as advised by NHS Test and Trace) – even if they test negative during those 14 days
  • Rest of household does not need to self-isolate, unless they are a ‘close contact’ too

Your child should not return to school until they have completed 14 days of self-isolation, even if they test negative during that period.

 

What to do if my child has travelled and has to self-isolate as part of a period of quarantine:

  • You should not take unauthorised leave in term time
  • Consider quarantine requirements and Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice when booking travel
  • Provide information to school as per attendance policy

Returning from a destination where quarantine is needed:

  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Whole household must self-isolate for 14 days – even if they test negative during isolation

Your child can return to school once the quarantine period of 14 days has been completed.

What to do if you have received advice from a medical or official source that your child must resume shielding:

  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Contact school as advised by attendance officer or pastoral team
  • Child should shield until you are informed that restrictions are lifted and shielding is paused again

Your child can return when school or other agencies inform you that restrictions have been lifted.

 

If anyone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, book a free COVID-19 test or call 119

Further information

Advice for parents during the pandemic. Features Greater Manchester doing things differently logo
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