Infectious illness and attendance: guidance and parent factsheet

Be clear on the guidance for specific infectious diseases and understand when a pupil should be absent from school. Share our factsheet with parents and carers so they know how long their child should be away from school.

Last reviewed on 16 February 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 49249
  1. Mild illness and attendance
  2. Follow government ‘exclusion’ guidance for infectious illnesses
  3. Controlling outbreaks of infectious illness
  4. Educate parents/carers about when to keep their child off school
  5. Encourage parents/carers to get their child vaccinated

Mild illness and attendance

The DfE recommends that parents/carers can send their child to school if they have a mild respiratory illness. This includes general cold symptoms such as a minor cough, runny nose or sore throat.

However, a child shouldn’t be sent to school if they have a temperature of 38°C or above.

Follow government ‘exclusion’ guidance for infectious illnesses

Please note: this guidance uses the term ‘exclusion’ in a different sense to an educational exclusion.

This table lists the most common illnesses affecting schools and includes advice on how long affected pupils should be absent.

Pupils who are close contacts of people who are unwell with an infectious disease or an infection don’t usually need to be excluded.

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