A quick reference guide to COVID-19 related absence can be downloaded here.
A. What happens if my child feels unwell?
If your child is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, new continuous cough or a loss/change in taste/smell as outlined by the NHS) then they must:
- Stay at home and limit their contact with other members of their household.
- Let the school know that they are absent because they are displaying symptoms.
- Get a test to check whether they have coronavirus as soon as possible (information on how to do this can be found here).
- Contact the school immediately with the test results
- If they start displaying symptoms at school, we will isolate them and call you to collect them asap. You will then be expected to follow the process outlined above. Please note the entire household (including siblings) must isolate until you have the results of the COVID-19 test.
B. What happens if the test comes back negative?
If someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer had symptoms similar to COVID-19 then they can stop self-isolating and return to school. Other members of their household can stop self-isolation.
Please refer to the guidance provided by the NHS on your coronavirus test result.
C. What happens if the test comes back positive?
If someone tests positive, they should follow the 'stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection' and must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste (anosmia). This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.
Please refer to the guidance provided by the NHS on your coronavirus test result. Parents will be required to provide details of anyone they or their child have been in close contact within school if they were to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test and Trace.
Close contact is defined as:
- direct close contacts - face to face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face to face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
- proximity contacts - extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
- travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person
D. What will the school do if a student or member of staff tests positive for COVID-19?
As per the guidance for schools we will contact the local health protection team. The health protection team will carry out a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact (as defined above) with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate. The health protection team will work with us to guide us through the actions we need to take. Based on the advice from the health protection team, we will send home those people who have been in close contact (as defined above) with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person.
If needed, the health protection team will provide us with a letter to share with parents and staff. We will write to parents if advised to do so by the health protection team and only once actions have been taken; our priority will be making contact with those who have been in contact with the infected individual so that they can self-isolate immediately. If we have two or more confirmed cases within 14 days, or an overall rise in sickness absence where coronavirus (COVID-19) is suspected, we may have an outbreak. We will continue to work with our local health protection team who will be able to advise if additional action is required.
In some cases, health protection teams may recommend that a larger number of other students self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole site or year group bubble. We will follow the advice of the health protection team and contact parents as directed.
In consultation with the local Director of Public Health, where an outbreak in a school is confirmed, a mobile testing unit may be dispatched to test others who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive. Testing will first focus on the person’s class, followed by their year group, then the whole school if necessary, in line with routine public health outbreak control practice.
E. What if my child is asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by the school on the advice of the health protection team?
Household members of those who are sent home do not need to self-isolate themselves unless the person who is self-isolating subsequently develops symptoms.
If your child has been asked to self-isolate (because they were in close contact with an infected individual or because either their bubble the whole school is required to do so) and they develop symptoms themselves within their 14-day isolation period they should follow the guidance above (point A). As per the governments stay at home guidance you should get them a test asap and notify the school of the results immediately:
- If the test delivers a negative result, your child must remain in isolation for the remainder of the 14-day isolation period. This is because they could still develop the coronavirus (COVID-19) within the remaining days.
- If the test result is positive, you should contact the school immediately. Your child must isolate for at least 7 days from the onset of their symptoms (which could mean the self-isolation ends before or after the original 14-day isolation period). Your household should self-isolate for at least 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms following the governments stay at home guidance.
Further guidance is available on testing and tracing for coronavirus (COVID-19).
F. How do I report my child’s absence?
All student absence should be reported by 8.30am. Please give brief details of the reason for absence. We will always call you back to investigate further if your child is absent due to self-isolation or a suspected case.
G. What happens if my child is forced to self-isolate?
It is important that they continue learning and completing the same work as their peers so that their education is not compromised. There are several different scenarios ranging from your child being the only one in the class self-isolating to them being part of a larger group who are self-isolating; each scenario requires a slightly different approach. However, we will contact parents and provide details of the remote learning provision as and when required.
H. How will my child continue learning if there is a local or a national lockdown?
If the school is forced to close for a sustained period due to a local or a national lockdown, we will write to all parents detailing our plan for remote learning and the expectations we will have of your child.