This information has been written to help parents/carers make decisions about illness absence and to have confidence that the school will contact you where appropriate.
If your child falls ill in school:
- The school will contact you if they have had any sickness or diarrhoea or significant injury.
- If your child says they feel unwell the school will ask questions and make a judgement about whether he/she needs to go home, making sure your child knows what to do if it doesn’t improve.
We want all children to get the best out of school and they can only do that when they are fit and well.
We all have days when we just don’t feel up to doing what we have to do and children are the same. As parents/carers how you manage those days will teach your children a lot, not only about the importance of going to school but also about how you as their parents are going to respond when tested.
What to do if you or just one of your children is ill:
- You cannot keep your child at home because you are ill, or a brother or sister is ill. This will go down as unauthorised.
- Have a think – is there anyone who lives near you that could help you out in times like this?
- Is there anyone you could offer this kind of help to?
- Everyone needs help sometimes, especially when they have little ones.
- We would like to be the kind of school community where everyone had a ‘drop off buddy’.
- Why not make that arrangement now before you need it?
Some days it will be clear that your child is too ill for school but what can parents do when they have their doubts? Use the traffic light boxes below to help you make a decision you can be confident in.
You should keep your child at home:
- For 48 hours after vomiting or diarrhoea.
- If they are too ill to get out of bed.
- If they have anything contagious. (The school can advise you when to return.)
- If they are too ill to learn.
- Until you have discussed any broken bones or fractures with the school. (The school may need to complete a risk assessment).
Think about sending them to school:
- If they are playing normally at home in the morning.
- If they want to be able to go out that evening.
- If the medicine you have given them is enabling them to feel better and enabling them to learn.
- If they say they are ill but you feel they are having you on.
- Better to send them in late or in the afternoon rather than not at all.
If they have a school worry, promise to talk to the school while they are there.
Most children (like adults) are fine once they are joining in. You can always let the school know that you are concerned and that will help the school with any decision to call you.
Having your child sent home from school does not mean it was the wrong decision to send them in. If you think something at school is upsetting your child, talk to them about it and let the school know straight away.
You should send your child to school at all other times including:
- As soon as head lice have been treated, hair is washed and dried.
- As soon as they are back to being themselves.
- If their sibling is ill but they are not.
- If they are well enough to learn having been given painkillers etc.