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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for parents, guardians and carers of a child in school

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guide for parents, guardians and carers of a child in school

National lockdown

Schools are closed except for:

  • vulnerable children
  • children of key workers

Contact your child's school to find out what their arrangements are for these children.

The following guidance applies to children who are attending school during the national lockdown.

If your child has coronavirus symptoms

NHS.UK has guidance on coronavirus in children.

If your child has coronavirus symptoms:

  • get a test to check if your child has coronavirus
  • keep your child at home for 10 days, or until they get a negative test result, and don't have visitors
  • contact your child's school each day to tell them how your child is doing
  • tell your child's school as soon as you get the test result
  • everyone else in your household must stay stay at home for 10 days, or until your child gets a negative test result 

If the test result is negative and your child feels better, they can go back to school.

If you can't get a test, your child and everyone else in your household must self-isolate.

If your child develops symptoms at school, a member of staff at the school will take them out of class and ask you to collect them.

If your child tests positive for coronavirus

  • keep your child at home for 10 days from the start of their symptoms, and don't have visitors
  • tell your child's school immediately about the test result
  • contact your child's school each day to tell them how your child is doing
  • everyone else in your household must stay at home for 10 days

Your child can go back to school after 10 days as long as they don't still have a temperature.

If your child still has a temperature after the 10 days, keep them home from school for a further 24 hours after their temperature has returned to normal.

If your child still has a loss of taste or smell or a cough after 10 days of staying at home, they can still go back to school because these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

If someone at your child’s school tests positive for coronavirus

If a child or member of staff at your child’s school tests positive for coronavirus, your child’s school will tell Public Health England, who will tell the school what to do based on the latest public health advice.

If your child has been in close contact with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus they’ll be sent home, and must self-isolate for 10 days. The rest of your household doesn't need to self-isolate, unless your child develops symptoms.

If there’s a coronavirus outbreak at your child’s school

What an outbreak is

If a school has two or more coronavirus cases within 14 days or an overall rise in sickness absence where coronavirus is suspected, it may have a coronavirus outbreak.

What will happen if there’s an outbreak

Staff at the school will work with their local health protection team who will tell them what to do.

In some cases, the health protection team may recommend that a large number of children self-isolate at home. This could be the entire school, or a year group.

The local Director of Public Health may test people who have been in close contact with each child who tested positive for coronavirus. This could be:

  • the child’s class
  • the child’s year group
  • the whole school

If someone in your household has coronavirus symptoms

  • get a test for the person with symptoms
  • keep your child at home for 10 days, or until the person with symptoms gets a negative result, and don't have visitors
  • contact your child's school to tell them that your child is self-isolating
  • tell your child's school as soon as the person with symptoms gets their test result
  • everyone else in your household must stay at home for 10 days, or until the person with symptoms gets a negative result

If the test result is negative, your child can can go back to school.

If the person with symptoms can't get a test, everyone in your household must self-isolate for 10 days.

If someone in your household tests positive for coronavirus

  • keep your child and everyone else in your household at home for 10 days, and don't have visitors
  • contact your child's school to tell them that your child is self-isolating

Your child can go back to school after they have stayed at home for 10 days, unless they develop symptoms.

If someone in your household is self-isolating

Your child can still go to school if someone else in their household is self isolating, unless that person develops symptoms or test positive for coronavirus.

If the NHS Test and Trace service tells your child to self-isolate

If the NHS Test and Trace service identifies your child as a 'close contact' of someone with symptoms of or confirmed coronavirus:

  • keep your child at home for 10 days
  • contact your child's school to tell them that your child is self-isolating

Your child can go back to school after they have stayed at home for 10 days, unless they develop symptoms.

If your child has to self-isolate because of government quarantine rules

  • keep your child at home for 10 days
  • contact your child's school to tell them that your child is self-isolating

Your child can go back to school after they have stayed at home for 10 days, unless they develop symptoms.