When a child is unwell, it can be hard deciding whether to keep them off school. These simple guidelines taken from the NHS website should help. Click here to go straight to it or see the end of the letter.

Not all illness needs a child to stay away from school. If a child is kept away from school, parents/cares must inform the school on the first day of their absence.

Parents need to ask themselves the following questions.

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

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 a child has a more severe and long-lasting cough, they should go to a GP. They can give guidance on whether your child should stay off school.

Raised temperature

If a child has a raised temperature, they shouldn’t attend school. They can return 24 hours after their temperature has lowered start to feel better.


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 a child has a rash, check with a GP or practice nurse before sending them to school.


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 the child should be kept off school and a GP consulted.

Vomiting and diarrhoea

Children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting must 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 a GP.

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.


If a child has chickenpox, they must be kept off school until all their spots have crusted over
For the link to the DfE Health protection in schools and other childcare facilities information click the highlighted phrase.

Procedures for unwell children

If a child presents as unwell or appears to be presently differently or they inform a member of staff that they are that they feel unwell the member of staff will monitor the child and rule out any common reasons such as:

– Environmental factors
– Does the child need the bathroom/changing?
– Is the child thirsty?
– Is the child hungry?
– Is the child too hot / too cold?
– Is the child worried about something?
– Have parents informed school of any changes that could impact – if impact? If no message the class

team will call home and speak to parents to try and ascertain if there are any factors that could explain the reason for the change in presentation.

Following initial checks the member of staff will then seek advice from a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). A decision is taken based upon the symptoms and presentation including visible signs of the child’s body temperature as to whether parent/carer are immediately informed and asked to collect their child or whether we continue monitoring. Advice may also be sought from the School Health Team. All conversations will be logged on our internal monitoring system CPOMS.

Should the child’s condition deteriorate parent/carer will be contacted by a member of the class team and asked to collect their chid as soon as possible. Any direction to send a child home must have been agreed with a member of the SLT (Senior Leadership Team), this decision and rationale and the member of the SLT spoken to will be logged on CPOMS.

Collecting unwell children

We ask that parents keep their emergency contact details up to date. Whilst waiting for collection of an unwell child staff will:

– Keep the child comfortable while they wait to be collected
– If contact cannot be made with parents then staff will contact the emergency contacts provided by

the parents on the admissions form
– If parents/ emergency contacts cannot be reached the child will be made comfortable and monitored

and staff will continue to try to make contact
– If necessary a member of the school health team will be consulted and or / a first aider
– In the case of an emergency when the child’s health is at risk an ambulance will be called by a

member of the SLT and parents/carer will be contacted – dependant on the time sensitivity a member of staff will accompany the child to hospital, and parent/carer asked to meet the child at hospital.

School will pay due regards to child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures at all times. If at any time staff have concerns about the presentation of a child or their care they will follow procedures outlines within our child protection and safeguarding policy.

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