Public health guidance for schools
Living with Covid – Revised Guidance from 1 April
From Friday 1 April, most of the COVID-19 specific guidance for education and childcare settings was withdrawn from GOV.UK.
Schools are now advised to follow the UKHSA guidance for the general population along with the specific UKHSA health protection in education and childcare settings.
The HR Guidance for Headteachers on Covid-19 has been withdrawn and replaced by the following information. It will apply from 1 April 2022
- Schools should be aware that the list of potential symptoms of Covid-19 has been updated as follows:
- continuous cough
- high temperature, fever or chills
- loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
- shortness of breath
- unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
- muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
- not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
- headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual
- sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
- diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick
Advice for adults with symptoms of COVID-19
If a person has symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work they should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until they no longer have a high temperature (if they had one) or until they no longer feel unwell.
- If an employee with any of these symptoms is well enough and their role allows, they can work from home. If they cannot work from home but are well enough to work you should discuss with them the risk of spreading illness and the mitigations that you have in place to enable them to attend the workplace.
- Any individual with COVID-19 will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days. If they have a positive COVID-19 test result, they should try to stay at home as much as possible and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after the day they took their test.
There is different advice for children - see below
- While they have symptoms they are a high risk of passing the infection to others and they should be supported to:
- Try to keep their distance for other staff and pupil
- Wash their hands regularly for 20 seconds or more to limit the spread of Covid-19 (hand sanitising stations should continue to be available).
- Keep windows open to allow good natural ventilation and leave them open for at least 10 minutes after they have left the room.
- Consider wearing a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces, especially where they come into contact with people they do not usually meet.
- Limit the amount of time they spend in areas and used by lots of colleagues.
- Clean down shared equipment and desks before and after each use. Cleaning stations should continue to be made available for staff.
Children who have a positive test result
It is not recommended that children and young people are tested for COVID-19 unless directed to by a health professional.
If a child or young person has a positive COVID-19 test result they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test, if they can. After 3 days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature, the risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower. This is because children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults.
Children and young people who usually go to school, college or childcare and who live with someone who has a positive COVID-19 test result should continue to attend as normal.
Schools are advised to continue with enhanced cleaning practices, ensure good levels of ventilation and to encourage staff to take a lateral flow test before attending a workplace if they have Covid-19 symptoms (even if mild) as part of their personal responsibility to prevent the spread of Covid-19.