Staying safe in schools, colleges and early years

COVID-19 symptoms in children

If your child has any of the following symptoms, you will need to book a test online or call 119 and keep them off school to self-isolate for 10 days.

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss of, or change to their sense of smell or taste

Symptoms A high temperature This means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature) A new, continuous cough This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you us

It is important that you only book a test if your child has one or more of the symptoms listed above.

If your child has had a test your household must isolate until you receive the test result. Your household can only stop isolating if the test is negative.

If your child had these symptoms before Covid would you have kept them off school?
Keep your child off their school, college or childcare setting
Do they have any of these symptoms?
1 A new continuous cough
2 A fever (do they feel hot to the touch on chest or back?)
3 A complete loss or change of smell or taste
Keep your child off their school, college or childcare setting and at home
Speak to 119 or go to the website and arrange for a self test to be done. If your child has had a test - your household must isolate until you receive the test result, only if the test is negative can your household come out of isolation.
Does your child have an underlying chronic medical condition such as cystic fibrosis?
Speak to their specialist team about testing criteria if you haven't seen or spoken to them or had a letter in the post telling you when to be concerned
Children who are otherwise well with:
Runny noses
Sore throats without a fever
Mild colds
Can go to their school, college or childcare setting as normal. Only book a test if your child has one or more of the three coronavirus symptoms.


Face coverings on school transport

young female with dark hair, sitting on a bus wearing a face mask -with text Safe Herefordshire
It is a legal requirement that, from 2 December, all children and young people aged 11 and over must wear a face covering on public transport. This also applies to children and young people aged 11 and over, travelling on dedicated school/college transport - they must wear a face covering for the whole of their journey to and from secondary school or college. This does not apply to those children and young people who are exempt from wearing a face covering on public transport.  We will be working jointly with schools, colleges and transport operators to monitor compliance.

More information on exemptions

More information on school transport and COVID-19


Face Coverings in school

In schools where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. 

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings and we expect adults and pupils to be sensitive to those needs. There is more information on the new restrictions and education on the website



Logo Kooth is your online mental wellbeing community. Access free, safe and anonymous support.

Kooth is a safe and anonymous online community for 11 – 18 year olds who are struggling with their mental wellbeing.  Kooth’s free support includes online counselling and advice, self-help tools, and the opportunity for young people to chat with others who are feeling the same.

Find out more on Kooth


Common winter bugs

Some bugs are more common in the winter and your children may have symptoms such as sickness and diarrhoea. If your children has been vomiting or has an upset stomach, they should not go back into school until they have been ‘symptom free’ for 48 hours. Keeping your child off school will reduce the chance of the bugs being spread to other pupils or school staff and their families.


Stay apart so your children can stay together

Graphic of father and son with masks on kneeling by school gates with text Plese stay apart so your children can stay together
When dropping off or collecting your child from school, please remember to socially distance.  You should try to stay 2m away from people who are not from your own household and move away from the school gates as soon as possible.  If you are unable to do this then please consider wearing a face covering and try to limit the time you are in close contact with other people.  By staying apart and following the advice of your child’s school you can help your children stay together.

Ventilation in schools

There is strong evidence that getting, as much fresh air as possible into buildings, including your own home, will significantly reduce the spread of infections, including coronavirus.  Many schools will be opening their windows during the winter months to allow for the flow of fresh air.  This may mean that the temperature in your child’s classroom will be a little bit chillier than normal, so where possible we recommend that you provide your child with an extra layer of clothing to wear under their normal uniform.

For local advice about coronavirus visit:

For the latest government coronavirus guidance visit:

Graphic tect - Back to School, walk cycle or scoot to school where you can