When your child is unwell, it can be hard deciding whether to keep them off school. These simple guidelines should help. 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 my child well enough to do the activities of the school day?
- Does my child have a condition that could be passed on to other children or school staff?
- Would I take a day off work if I had this condition?
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. Use this guidance to help you make that judgement.
Remember: If you are concerned about your child’s health, consult a health professional.
- 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 your child has a more severe and long lasting cough, consult your GP.
- Raised temperature. If your child has a raised temperature, they should not attend school.
- Rash. Skin rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses, such as chickenpox and measles. Children with these conditions should not attend school. If your child has a rash, check with your GP before sending them to school.
- A chid with a minor headache doesn’t usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more severe or 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 diarrhoea and/or vomiting should definitely 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 your GP.
- Sore throat. A sore throat alone doesn’t have to keep your child from school. If it’s accompanied by a raised temperature, your child should stay at home.
- If your child has chickenpox, keep them off school until the spots have crusted over.
Tell the School
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 will ask about the nature of the illness and how long you expect the absence to last.
If your child needs to take on-going medication e.g. for asthma, please into come into school and discuss your child’s requirements with the Welfare Manager, Deputy Headteacher or Headteacher. You will be asked to contribute to a Care Plan outlining your child’s medical needs, the dose and timing of medication and what action should be taken in an emergency. If the medical need is complex the school nurse will be invited to give advice at the Care Plan meeting. The medicine must be prescribed by a Doctor and the Care Plan signed by the child’s parent or carer. The Care Plan and medication will be kept in the Welfare Room and administered under the supervision of an adult.
If your child becomes ill or sustains any injury at school, they will be cared for by the Welfare Manager. If it is deemed necessary parents will be asked to come to the school to collect their child.
In case of an emergency, please make sure we always have up-to-date phone numbers where you can be contacted.
Parents/carers will be informed of any head injuries sustained and for serious accidents we follow the procedures laid down by the London Borough of Enfield.
This is a very common problem in schools, which is easily treatable at home. Treatments can be purchased at the chemist. If you do discover head lice we can provide advice in school; please come in and ask for an information sheet. It would be helpful if you would let the school know if your child does have head lice so that other parents can be alerted to check their children’s hair and treat it if necessary.