COVID update: April 2022
Dear Parents/ Carers
We have been welcoming our students and staff back into school today. As you will have seen in the recent media, the UK Health Security Agency and the DFE have released updated guidance for schools as we learn to live safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19.
UKHSA has now published new guidance for the general population on reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace. This came into effect on Friday 1 April, and is also relevant to education and childcare settings.
We are writing to you to inform you of some of the key updates regarding symptoms, isolation, attendance and testing.
Updated NHS COVID-19 symptoms lists
The symptoms for children include:
- a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature 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
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick
The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.
Your child should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 and they are either:
- have a high temperature
- do not feel well enough to go to school, college, or childcare, or do their normal activities
Your child can return to school when they feel better or do not have a high temperature. Most children who are unwell will recover in a few days with rest and plenty of fluids.
If your child has mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or mild cough, and they feel well enough, they should attend school.
We ask you to continue to encourage your child to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, and to wash their hands after using or throwing away tissues.
Adults and children who have symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, should follow the UKHSA guidance. Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can go back to school, college or childcare and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.
Children and young people aged 18 years and under 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 (if they can) avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test. 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.
The DFE have advised that for education and childcare settings from Friday 1st April, regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any education or childcare setting, including in SEND, alternative provision, and children’s social care settings.
Please note, we have been advised by the DfE that the school is no longer able to issue any test kits to staff or students from 1 April 2022.
Attending education is hugely important for children and young people’s health and their future. Students who have symptoms of COVID-19 should follow the UKHSA guidance about when they should stay at home. Where a student is not attending because they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have had a positive test, we will now record this as illness unless another more appropriate absence code applies.
Thank you for your continued support. By working together, we can all ensure that we all learn to live safely with COVID-19.