My child has developed symptoms at school - what will happen?
Advice should your child develop symptoms in or out of school.
If a child begins to feel unwell with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms while at school the following steps will take place. Check with your school about individual arrangements, however it is likely that:
- Schools will arrange for the symptomatic individual to go home
- While the child is awaiting collection they will be moved to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door or, if not possible, somewhere that is at least 2 metres away from other people and ensure appropriate adult supervision. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. Staff caring for the pupil will wear appropriate PPE. If the child needs to use the toilet, this toilet will not be used by others and will be cleaned in line with guidance following the child leaving the school. After the child has left the school, all areas where the symptomatic child has been will be cleaned and disinfected.
- When the child is collected, the parent or carer will be given the following information:
- The symptomatic child will need to get tested for COVID-19 and report the result to the school once known. Tests can be organised by visiting NHS.UK or contact NHS 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access. Testing for children under 5 years old can be arranged online or by calling 119.
- The symptomatic child to self-isolate for 10 days (or until a negative result has been reported).
- Fellow members of their household to self-isolate for 14 days.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class, bubble or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the cohort or in the wider setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other children and/or young people may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group. Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.
If your child develops symptoms before they return to school or while not in school, please continue to keep your school informed.