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Illness - NHS Guidelines

What to do when your child feels unwell - NHS Guidelines


When your child is unwell, it can be hard deciding whether to keep them off school.


A few simple guidelines can help


Would you take a day off work if you had this condition? If so, keep your child at home.


Click here Sickness NHS Guidelines


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.


Use common sense when deciding whether or not your child is too ill to attend school. Ask yourself the following questions.


  • Is your child well enough to do the activities of the school day? If not, keep your child at home.
  • Does your child have a condition that could be passed on to other children or school staff? If so, keep your child at home.


Changes in administering of medication in school


Calpol and Nurofen are temperature suppressants and so these will only be administered for very specific, non viral-related, reasons (non-viral meaning not for general colds and viruses and obviously nothing which is related to Covid symptoms). Your child’s temperature will be checked prior to us administering this medication to ensure no temperature is present before administration. Parents must complete the Medicine Administration paperwork to enable the school to administer




If a child has a high temperature, new continuous cough or has lost their taste or sense of smell.  They must stay home and get a Covid 19 test.  If this is positive they must currently isolate at home for 3 days.


If a member of your household has a temperature, new continuous cough or has lost their taste or sense of smell.  They must get a Covid 19 test and isolate.  All members of your household may carry on with school and work as normal and do not need to currently isolate.


Common conditions


If your child is ill, it’s likely to be due to one of a few minor health conditions.


Whether you send your child to school will depend on how severe you think the illness is. This guidance can help you make that judgement.


Remember: if you’re concerned about your child’s health, consult a health professional.


  • Cough and cold. A child with a minor cough or snotty 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 the child should stay off school. See below for corona virus information (temperature, new continuous cough or loss of taste or sense of smell)
  • 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. (see below for corona virus information)
  • Rash. 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.
  • Headache. A child with a minor headache doesn’t usually need to be kept off school. and medication such as Calpol can usually help.    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.
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea. Children with these conditions should be kept off school. They can return 24 hours after their last  symptoms disappear. Most cases of vomiting or diarrhoea get better without treatment, but if symptoms persist, consult your GP. 
  • Sore throat. A child who complains of a slight sore throat and has no other symptoms is fit to go to school. A sore throat with a high temperature is an indication that the child should stay at home
  • Conjuctivitis.  Guidance from Public Health England (PHE) (the Health Protection Agency) states that it is not necessary to exclude a child from school or from childcare if they have infective conjunctivitis, unless there is an outbreak of several cases. 
  • Tonsillitis.  Guidance from Public Health England (PHE) (the Health Protection Agency) states that it is not necessary to exclude a child from school or from childcare.  There are many causes, but most cases are due to viruses and do not need an antibiotic.
  • Headlice. Guidance from Public Health England (PHE) (the Health Protection Agency) states that it is not necessary to exclude a child from school however treatment is recommended where live lice have been seen to prevent an outbreak in school.
  • Impetigo.  Your child cannot attend school until lesions are crusted and healed, or 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment.  Antibiotic treatment speeds healing and reduces the infectious period 

    It’s important to inform the school if your child is going to be absent. On the first day of your child’s illness, telephone the school to tell them that your child will be staying at home. The school may ask about the nature of the illness and how long you expect the absence to last.


If it becomes clear that your child will be away for longer than expected, phone the school as soon as possible to explain this.


School telephone number: 01795 521362


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