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Useful information for parents and education providers

Working with education providers

We have well-established processes in place to work closely with schools to respond to cases and ensure all infection prevention and control measuers are taken. Schools with confirmed positive cases communicate directly with parents and carers regarding any actions that need to be taken and any changes to school provision. Schools with confirmed cases are reported on the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and Dorset Council websites. 

COVID-19 testing

Find out more about lateral flow testing for school staff, secondary school and college pupils and households and support bubbles of those attending school and college.

School attendance 

With children mixing together at school, it is likely that they are going to get seasonal colds and coughs but not all illnesses mean they must stay off school or self-isolate. Use our simple symptom checker at the bottom of this page to check whether your child needs to stay at home. 

Remember the symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a high temperature (hot to touch on the back or chest)
  • a new continuous cough (continuous cough is coughing consistently for a while and not just every now and again)
  • a loss of or change to your taste or smell

Check the NHS website for more details on symptoms of COVID-19.

If a child has cold symptoms like a runny nose or sore throat, they can attend school if they are well enough, as long as they have no COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19 and returning to school

What to do if... Action needed Return to school...
....my child has COVID-19 symptoms

- Do not come to school

- Contact school to inform them

- Self-isolate the whole household

- Get a COVID-19 test

- Inform school immediately about the test result

...if the test comes back negative

If a child tests positive for COVID-19 see row below

....my child tests positive for COVID-19

- Do not come to school

- Contact school to inform us

- Agree an earliest date for possible return (10 days after symptoms started)

- Self-isolate the whole household

...10 days after symptoms started as long as they feel well. They can return after 10 days even if they still have a cough or loss of taste/smell as these symptoms can last for several weeks.

...my child tests negative

- Contact school to inform them

- Discuss when your child can come back


...when the test comes back negative and your child feels well enough to return


 COVID-19 school absence checker