Information for parents

Attending school

All pupils in Plymouth can return to school and college for face-to-face teaching from Monday 8 March as the Government's four-step plan to ease lockdown gets underway.

We know some people will be feeling anxious, but please be reassured that our schools have had plenty of practice at keeping staff, children and their families safe in line with COVID-19 guidelines. If you have concerns, please discuss these with your school or college. They will be able to explain the protective measures they are using to help keep everyone safe.

Lateral Flow Testing

Many schools are carrying out Lateral Flow Tests for staff and returning students.  Please liaise with your school to see how you can access these tests.  Some children will be able to access them directly on site and some tests will need to be administered at home by a parent or guardian.  Your school will be able to give you more details

When to book your child a test for COVID-19

You should book a test for your child if they have the symptoms of coronavirus, which are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You can book a test online at GOV.UK. If you have problems using the online service you can call 119.

As soon as you have symptoms of Coronavirus you must self-isolate at home. The guidance on what you need to do is on the NHS website.

If there is a confirmed case in your child’s school

If there is a confirmed case in a school, Public Health England and the City Council’s public health team will work with the school’s leadership team to ensure staff and pupils take any necessary measures to stop the virus spreading.

They will establish who the confirmed case has been in contact with and which other pupils will need to self-isolate for 10 days. In some instances this will be a class or year group ‘bubble’. The size of these bubbles will depend on the risk assessment carried out by the school.

These measures are considered carefully as it is understood that they can cause considerable inconvenience to families. However, they are very important to keeping your child and your family safe and stopping the spread of the virus in the community.

All other pupils in the school should continue to attend school unless told otherwise.

If your child is asked to self-isolate

If your child is asked to self-isolate but is not showing symptoms, they need to stay at home for 10 days.

The school will aim to ensure learning can continue during this period.

Siblings of a child asked to self-isolate for this reason should attend school as usual, unless told otherwise.

Please ensure that if your child is asked to self-isolate they do not leave home or socialise with friends. If they start to show symptoms, please arrange a test for them.

COVID-19 absence - a quick guide for parents

WHAT TO
DO IF...
ACTION NEEDED BACK TO SCHOOL...
…my child has COVID 19 (coronavirus) symptoms*
  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Child should get a test
  • Whole household self-isolates while waiting for test result
  • Inform school immediately about test results
...when child’s test comes back negative
…my child tests positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus)
  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Child self-isolates for at least 10 days from when symptoms* started (or from day of test if no symptoms)
  • Inform school immediately about test results
  • Whole household self-isolates for 10 days from day when symptoms* started (or from day of test if no symptoms) - even if someone tests negative during those 10 days

…when child feels better, and has been without a fever for at least 48 hours

They can return to school after 10 days even if they have a cough or loss of smell / taste. These symptoms can last for several weeks once the infection is gone.
…somebody in my household has COVID-19 (coronavirus) symptoms*
  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Household member with symptoms should get a test
  • Whole household self-isolates while waiting for test result
  • Inform school immediately about test results
…when household member test is negative, and child does not have COVID-19 symptoms*
…somebody in my household has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus)
  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Whole household self-isolates for 10 days from day when symptoms* started (or from day of test if no symptoms) - even if someone tests negative during those 10 days
…when child has completed 10 days of self-isolation, even if they test negative during the 10 days
…NHS Test and Trace has identified my child as a ‘close contact’ of somebody with symptoms* or confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus)
  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Child self-isolates for 10 days (as advised by NHS Test and Trace) – even if they test negative during those 10 days
  • Rest of household does not need to self-isolate, unless they are a ‘close contact’ too
…when the child has completed 10 days of self-isolation, even if they test negative during those 10 days
…we / my child has travelled and has to self-isolate as part of a period of quarantine
  • Do not take unauthorised leave in term time
  • Consider quarantine requirements and FCO advice when booking travel
  • Provide information to school as per attendance policy
  • Returning from a destination where quarantine is needed:
  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Whole household self-isolates for 10 days – even if they test negative during those 10 days
…when the quarantine period of 10 days has been completed for the child, even if they test negative during those 10 days
…we have received advice from a medical / official source that my child must resume shielding
  • Child shouldn’t attend school
  • Contact school as advised by attendance officer / pastoral team
  • Child should shield until you are informed that restrictions are lifted and shielding is paused again
…when school / other agencies inform you that restrictions have been lifted and your child can return to school again
….I am not sure who should get a test for COVID -19 (coronavirus)
  • Only people with symptoms* need to get a test
  • People without symptoms are not advised to get a test, even if they are a ‘close contact’ of someone who tests positive
…when conditions above, as matching your situation, are met