COVID-19 at School: My Child Has Tested Positive! What Should I Do?


  1. Covid restrictions in schools
  2. What to do if you suspect that your child has COVID-19?
  3. COVID-19 symptoms to look out for
  4. My child has tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
  5. Checklist for parents, caregivers and community members
  6. Financial support for parents and caregivers


So far, data from the World Health Organisation suggests that children under the age of 18 years represent about 8.5 per cent of reported cases, with relatively few deaths compared to other age groups and usually mild disease. 🚸

However, although rare, cases of critical illness have been reported among children. Furthermore, at the end of 2021, the 10 to 19 age group maintained the highest rate of infections per 100,000 tested.

So, it’s important to know how to respond if your child comes home from school having tested positive for COVID-19. In this article, we have put together all the answers to your questions about what to do if your child tests positive for COVID-19. 👇covid-kid

Covid restrictions in schools


As of February 2022, all remaining Covid restrictions have now been scrapped in English schools. Rules have also been eased elsewhere in the UK, but some measures are being retained for the moment. Let's take a look at the latest restrictions by nation: 😷


Staff and students without symptoms in England are no longer asked to test for Covid twice weekly. The legal requirement to self-isolate after a positive test is also being removed, although it is still recommended. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿


All school staff and secondary school pupils in Scotland are still asked to take two lateral flow tests a week. Social distancing remains in place, however, students no longer have to wear masks in school. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿


All school staff and secondary school pupils in Wales are still asked to take three lateral flow tests a week. Face coverings will no longer be required in classrooms after 28 February, but should still be worn in communal areas of secondary schools. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Northern Ireland

All school staff and secondary school pupils in Northern Ireland are still asked to take two lateral flow tests a week. Pupils in post-primary schools should wear face coverings. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁮󠁩󠁲󠁿


What to do if you suspect that your child has COVID-19?


As detailed above, depending on where in the UK you live, your child may be undergoing compulsory lateral flow tests at school on a weekly basis regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. So, the likelihood is that you will know relatively quickly if your child has been infected with COVID-19. 🦠

However, as children generally have milder illnesses and fewer symptoms, cases may sometimes go unnoticed. So, if your child shows the first symptoms, it may make sense to carry out a quick test right away. That way you can quickly identify a possible infection and interrupt the chain of infection. 

It doesn't matter whether your child has been infected with COVID-19 or is simply lugging around a mild cold. If your child is sick, stay at home and rest. It’s best not to send your child back to school until they feel fit as a fiddle again. 💪 


COVID-19 symptoms to look out for


The incubation period for children is the same as in adults. The time between exposure to COVID-19 and when symptoms start is commonly around 5 to 6 days and ranges from 1 to 14 days. ⏱️

Again, most children tend to have an asymptomatic infection, which means they don't have any symptoms at all, nevertheless, here are some of the most common symptoms to look out for if you believe your child may have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus:

  • high temperature or shivering (chills)
  • new, continuous cough 
  • loss or change to their sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • aching body
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick


My child has tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?


While you’re no longer legally required to self-isolate if you have COVID-19 In Egland, if a child or young person has a positive COVID-19 test result they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test if they can. 📅

The legal requirement to self-isolate remains in place across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The most important thing is to avoid close contact between your child and anyone at higher risk from COVID-19. This is particularly important if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, even if they’ve had a COVID-19 vaccine.

After 3 days, if your child feels well and does 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. Most children who are unwell will recover in a few days with rest and plenty of fluids. 🚰

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.


Checklist for parents, caregivers and community members


If your child is showing symptoms of illness and you decide to keep them home from school, the NHS has published information on how to treat the most common symptoms – like a raised temperature, cough or breathlessness – at home. 🧑‍⚕️

You can also take a look at the latest guidance from the World Health Organisation regarding how to keep your child safe and prevent them from passing on the infection by teaching and modelling good hygiene practices:

  • Wash your hands with soap and safe water frequently. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60 per cent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Ensure that safe drinking water is available and toilets or latrines are clean and available at home.
  • Ensure waste is safely collected, stored and disposed of.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth and nose.

If your child is doing well despite the COVID-19 infection and you are concerned about the learning material that they are missing, we recommend reaching out to their school to find a solution for your child to take part in classes online. 🧑‍💻 

Alternatively, all our tutoring lessons take place online. So of course we are also there for you in case of a COVID-19 infection! If your child is symptom-free and feels up to it, they may benefit from going through the learning content with one of our tutors. Why not try a free trial lesson with GoStudent today? 🎒


Financial support for parents and caregivers


The one-off Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 that was previously available via local authorities for parents of children who have been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace in England, has now been withdrawn. Support is still available in other nations as described below.


If you're told to self-isolate by Test and Protect you may be eligible for a £500 Self-Isolation Support Grant. If you have tested positive on an LFD test, you need a confirmatory positive PCR test result to apply for the grant. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿


If you are unable to work due to COVID-19, you could get support for help. You should tell your employer if you cannot work whilst self-isolating. You may be covered by their sick leave or special leave policy. If you cannot get sick pay from your employer, you may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay or another type of financial support. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Northern Ireland

Extra financial support may be available if you are in a financial crisis or need short-term support whilst self-isolating. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁮󠁩󠁲󠁿

Important Disclaimer

While we take every step to ensure our information is accurate at the time of publication, changes can occur rapidly and we cannot guarantee that the information regarding COVID-19 regulations contained in this article is the most up-to-date.

We, therefore, advise you to cross-check our information against official government health websites – as listed below – before taking any action. Please note, that if you do act on any of the information that we have shared, you agree to do so at your own risk.