What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus at the school?

When a child or staff member develops symptoms of coronavirus, they will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and students who are attending school (and their households) will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. Tests can be requested via the NHS website.

If the child or staff member tests negative, they can return to school and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation. If the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within school will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.

As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the child’s cohort or in the wider education or childcare setting, Public Health England’s local Health Protection Teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases, a larger number of other children and young people may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group.

Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.