Sickness Absence and Coronavirus Symptoms

Sickness Absence and Coronavirus Symptoms

Understandably, we have received several questions from parents regarding sickness absence and coronavirus symptoms.  We know that everyone in our school community wants to do the right thing to prevent the spread of infection so we have put together the following summary from our guidance to support you.  Our full Operating Procedures are available via the school website at https://www.colneisjunior.co.uk/risk-assessment-and-operating-procedures/    

My child has a cold / possible symptoms of Covid. What should I do?

We need to split the answer for this into two:

  1. If your child has symptoms of a cold – i.e. sore throat / runny nose.  We would like you to consider whether they are fit enough to attend school?  This advice has not changed from previous years.  If you will not be sending them in then you should phone the school office and give us the child’s name, class and symptoms as per our absence policy.   The NHS generic advice on illness and school attendance can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/ Please be aware that if a child has vomited they should not attend school for at least 48 hours after the last episode.

2.    If your child (or anyone in the household) has one or more of the following symptoms the advice is different:

  • a high temperature – this means they feel hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure their temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if they usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means they’ve noticed they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Firstly, you should not bring your child or any siblings into school.  Please call the school office to advise us of the absence as above.  You need to arrange a test for coronavirus.  This can be done online at https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/antigen/name or by calling NHS 111 for children under 5.  The person with symptoms needs to isolate for 10 days and everyone in the household needs to isolate for 14 days or until a negative test is returned.

If the test is positive, please inform the school immediately so that we can inform Public Health England who will advise us on any further steps required by the school.

If a child develops symptoms in school, then the procedure that will be followed is detailed in our Operating Procedures on page 7.  Parents/carers will be called to collect the child and any siblings and the same procedure for isolation and testing will need to be followed.

For children who are self-isolating we have a home learning offer detailed on our school website at https://www.colneisjunior.co.uk/parents/information-links/learning-links/. The year group termly curriculum letters also give the overview of the curriculum for the current term and parents can keep in contact with teachers about this work via the year group leader email accounts.

We do understand that the need to self-isolate for individuals and families with suspected or confirmed coronavirus may be problematic for many reasons (work commitments, childcare etc).  However, for the safety of everyone and to support our schools remaining open for all then it is imperative that we all follow the guidelines.