Illness – Should My Child Attend School?

When a child is unwell, it can be hard for parents and carers to decide whether to keep them off school. There are some simple guidelines, taken from the NHS website, that Kents Hill School follows when it comes to illness. Click here for the handy NHS advice which MUST be followed.

From the advice you will see that not every illness needs a child to stay away from school. If a child is kept away from school, parents or carers must inform the school office by 9am by email or phone on the first day of their absence. The main office number is 01908 240038. Email:

How do I decide if my child is well enough to attend school?

Parents and carers should use their best judgement and common sense when deciding whether or not a child is too ill to attend school and ask themselves the following questions:

  • Is my child well enough to do the activities expected during the school day? If not, your child should remain at home.
  • Does my child have a condition that could be passed on to other children or school staff? If so, your child must remain at home.
  • Would I take a day off work if I had this condition? If so, your child should remain at home.

Common Conditions:

If a child is unwell, it’s likely to be due to one of a few minor health conditions. However, please check and follow the advice given in the link above for all illnesses.

Cough and cold

A child with a minor cough or cold may attend school. If the cold is accompanied by a raised temperature, shivers or drowsiness, the child should stay off school, visit the GP and return to school 24 hours after they start to feel better. If a child has a more severe and long-lasting cough, they should go to a  GP. They can give guidance on whether your child should stay off school.

Raised temperature

If a child has a raised temperature above 38.4, they shouldn’t attend school. If you child develops a mild temperature at school – up to 38.4 – we will call you and ask you to take them home. They can return 24 hours after they start to feel better.


Skin rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses, such as chickenpox and measles. Children with these conditions shouldn’t attend school. If a child has a rash, check with a GP or practice nurse before sending them to school.


A child with a minor headache doesn’t usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as raised temperature or drowsiness, then the child should be kept off school and a GP consulted.

Vomiting and diarrhoea

Children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting must be kept off school until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have gone. Most cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in children get better without treatment, but if symptoms persist, consult a GP.

Sore throat

A sore throat alone doesn’t have to keep a child from school. But if it’s accompanied by a raised temperature, your child should stay at home.


If a child has a confirmed case of chickenpox, they must be kept off school until all their spots have crusted over.

For all health conditions, please read and follow the advice given at the link above.