My child has been ill - when should they come back to school?
This information is from the NHS Choices website - 'Is my child too ill for school?'. Please visit the NHS site for more information.
Not every illness needs to keep your child from school. If you keep your child away from school, be sure to inform the school on the first day of their absence. Whether you send your child to school will depend on how severe you think the illness is. Use this guidance to help you make that judgement. Remember: if you're concerned about your child’s health, consult a health professional.
Please note: if you feel your child is well enough to be in school, they will be expected to participate in all curriculum activities, including PE and swimming.
- COVID symptoms: please follow the latest government advice - this overrides specific advice below regarding coughs/temperatures, which was issued pre-pandemic. Click here for the latest NHS COVID guidance.
- Vomiting and diarrhoea. Children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting should definitely be kept off school until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have gone. Most cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in children get better without treatment, but if symptoms persist, consult your GP. If we feel your child has come back to school too early, we will contact you.
Diarrhoea and/or vomiting commonly affects children and staff and can be caused by a number of different germs, including viruses, parasites and bacteria. Infections can be easily spread from person to person (by unwashed hands), especially in children.
If your child is sick at school, we will ask you or your emergency contact to take your child home. They should not return for 48 hours. We appreciate that this is inconvenient in many cases, and you may not believe your child is ill, but you will appreciate that we do this in all cases and it should reduce the risk of infection for all children in school. As an example, if your child is sick at lunchtime on a Tuesday, they should not return to school until after lunch on Thursday, provided there have not been any further episodes of vomiting.
- Cough and cold. A child with a minor cough or cold may attend school. If the cold is accompanied by a raised temperature, shivers or drowsiness, the child should stay off school, visit the GP and return to school 24 hours after they start to feel better. If your child has a more severe and long-lasting cough, consult your GP. They can give guidance on whether your child should stay off school. Get more information in Common cold.
- Raised temperature. If your child has a raised temperature, they shouldn't attend school. They can return 24 hours after they start to feel better. Learn more in Feverish illness in children.
- Rash. Skin rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses, such as chickenpox and measles. Children with these conditions shouldn't attend school. If your child has a rash, check with your GP or practice nurse before sending them to school. Watch this slideshow of childhood illnesses to help you recognise your child's rash.
- Headache. A child with a minor headache doesn't usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as raised temperature or drowsiness, then keep the child off school and consult your GP. Read more about what to do about headaches in children.
- Sore throat. A sore throat alone doesn't have to keep a child from school. But if it's accompanied by a raised temperature, your child should stay at home. Read more about sore throat.
- Chickenpox. If your child has chickenpox, keep them off school until all their spots have crusted over. Read more about chickenpox.
If your child develops symptoms of an illness at school, and we feel they are too unwell to stay, we will, of course, contact you.
Please always ensure that your child washes their hands regularly, to help prevent the spread of illnesses.