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Is my child well enough for school?

With Ofsted making a major push on attendance, the NHS is offering guidance for when children should be sent to school. Obviously there have been lots of fears about Covid in recent years and I think parents are more concerned about sending kids in when they feel under the weather. It is a really difficult balance as you don’t want to spread germs but education is sooooo important and our poor kids have missed a lot of school.

The Government’s target for primary school attendance is 95%. That’s about 9 days off across the year which seems an awful lot to me. Autumn Term data is always a bit worse as kids adapt to being in school and colder weather etc. Lateness is also a major issue and if your child is 15 minutes late every day then that’s the equivalent of 10 days off a year.
Mild symptoms such as a runny nose or slight cough are fine, but a high temperature should always be taken seriously. Tummy bugs mean that the child should be kept home until 48 hours after the last bout of vomiting or diarrhoea.
It is really important to share health information with staff. Certain conditions can be dangerous to pregnant women or those with underlying health issues. For example, slapped cheek syndrome and hand foot and mouth disease could both be dangerous but are not a reason to keep a child at home if they feel well enough to attend.
Other illnesses such as scarlet fever and ringworm should be treated with medication before sending the child back to school even if they feel ok. Nits and threadworms aren’t pleasant visitors but again staff should be informed so that a message can be given to parents to be aware to look out for symptoms.
Obviously you know your child best and so are best placed to make the decision if they are well enough for school. But I think the NHS advice will reassure parents about their choice. Hope you all stay healthy!


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