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Is my child too ill for school?

Is my child too ill for school?


 It can be tricky deciding whether or not to keep your child off school, nursery or playgroup when they're unwell. There are government guidelines for schools and nurseries about managing specific infectious diseases at GOV.UK. These say when children should be kept off school and when they shouldn't. If you do keep your child at home, it's important to phone the school before 9:15am on the first day of absence. Let the school know that your child won't be in and give the reason. 


If your child is well enough to go to school but has an infection that could be passed on, such as a cold sore or head lice, let their teacher know.


Follow this advice for other illnesses:-



Time to be kept away from School


Coughs and Colds

Your child can come to school with minor coughs and colds

If they have a fever keep them at home until the fever goes

High Temperatures

Keep at home until temperature goes



Keep at home until all the spots have crusted over

Usually after 5 days first appear

Cold Sores

No need to keep your child at home

Encourage them to not touch the blister or share things like cups


No need to keep your child at home

Encourage them to not rub their eyes and wash their hands regularly


No need stay at home with minor symptoms, runny nose, sore throat, slight cough

However if they have a high temperature with their symptoms remain at home until it goes and they feel better

If Tested Positive for Covid-19

Remain at home for 3 days from day after taking test


Ear Infection

Severe earache keep at home until feel  better

If also have a high temp keep at home until temp goes away

Hand, Foot and Mouth

No need to keep off if feeling well in themselves

Encourage them to throw away any used tissues straight away and wash hands regularly

Head Lice

No need to keep child away from school

Treat the headlice


To be kept at home until sores have crusted over and healed, or 48 hours after they have started antibiotic treatment

Will need treatment from GP, encourage them to wash hands regularly and not share cups


Can attend school if have started treatment

See pharmacist for GP for treatment

Scarlet Fever

Child can attend school 24 hours after starting treatment

Will need treatment with antibiotics from GP

Slapped Cheek Syndrome

No need to keep off school

Once rash appears no longer infectious but advise school

Sore Throat

No need to be kept away unless also have high temperature

If have high temperature keep child at home until temperature goes away


No need to keep off school

See pharmacist for treatment

Vomiting and Diarrhoea

Keep away from school until they have not been sick or had diarrhoea for at least 48 hours (2 days)