Skip to content ↓

Sickness Absence Information

When a child is unwell, it can be hard deciding whether to keep them off school for parents. These simple guidelines taken from the NHS website should help. Click here to go straight to it.

Not every illness needs a child to stay away from school. If a child is kept away from school, parents must inform the school on the first day of their absence. 

Common sense needs to be used when deciding whether or not a child is too ill to attend school. Parents need to ask themselves the following questions:

  • Is my child well enough to do the activities of the school day? If not, keep your child at home.


  • Does my child have a condition that could be passed on to other children or school staff? If so, keep your child at home.


  • Would I take a day off work if I had this condition? If so, keep your child at home.


We never wish for our pupils to miss school, so making the decision to send a child home is never taken lightly. Please remember that school staff are not medical professionals and will always use their common sense when gauging whether a child is poorly or not. Many factors are considered, such as the child's own self-assessment, others with lower immune systems, their personal demeanour, their body language, their level of pain or temperature (forehead), the information given to us by parents and/or whether the child has vomited/had diarrhoea.

If the decision is made to call parents to collect their poorly child, the school will follow the NHS guidance on the length of time the pupil should be absent.  This table can be found as an attachment.

We appreciate the inconvenience collecting a poorly child can cause on working parents, but we have a duty of care to all our pupils and staff and a commitment to them to keep them safe and well. We are sure we have our parents full support with this.  

As a school, we always encourage pupils to be mindful of hygiene in order to avoid the spread of illnesses, by ensuring they wash their hands thoroughly with hot water and soap, particularly after using the toilet. 


If a child is ill, it's likely to be due to one of a few minor health conditions. See the following below:


A child with a minor cough or cold may attend school. If the cold is accompanied by a raised temperature, shivers or drowsiness, the child should stay off school, visit the GP and return to school 24 hours after they start to feel better. If a child has a more severe and long-lasting cough, they should go to a GP. They can give guidance on whether your child should stay off school.


If a child has a raised temperature, they shouldn't attend school. They can return 24 hours after they start to feel better.


Skin rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses, such as chickenpox and measles.  Children with these conditions shouldn't attend school. If a child has a rash, check with a GP or practice nurse before sending them to school.


A child with a minor headache doesn't usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as raised temperature or drowsiness, then the child should be kept off school and a GP consulted.


Children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting must be kept off school until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have gone. Most cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in children get better without treatment, but if symptoms persist, consult a GP. This is extremely infectious and can easily be spread to others or develop into the more serious case of Norovirus. We encourage all parents to ensure their children are not sent back to school when they are still poorly with this condition. 


A sore throat alone doesn't have to keep a child from school. But if it's accompanied by a raised temperature, your child should stay at home.


If a child has chickenpox, they must be kept off school until all their spots have crusted over and dried. This will be a minimum of a week away from school. 

Click here to go to Public Health England's latest advice