School FAQs

Page updated on: 12/05/2021

Our key priority has always been the safety of children, their families and school staff and this will continue to be our main consideration as we begin to enter the recovery period.

Please be assured that we have been working hard to put plans in place for our schools. Thank you for your continued support and co-operation.

Please visit this page for all information, it is being continually updated. The following FAQs should answer any queries that you may have about schools and Covid-19. Get in touch via the "Ask a question" tab if there is anything you need additional information about.

COVID-19 symptoms / testing

Coronavirus rates are falling across Wales to enable the return of pupils to schools.

Please be assured that the safety of both pupils and staff is our main priority, and we have robust health and safety measures in place, which are consistent with the measures identified in the most recent scientific advice and current Welsh Government guidance.

These include:

  • Staggered start and finish times to reduce congestion around school gates at drop-off and collection times
  • Effective and frequent hand-washing/sanitising
  • Wearing of face coverings (where appropriate)
  • Managing movements around the school to reduce contacts
  • Ventilation in classrooms via open windows/air conditioning
  • 2m social distancing between adults at all times
  • Maintaining pupils in consistent contact groups/classroom bubbles
  • High levels of effective cleaning
  • Staff and pupils to stay at home if they have symptoms, have tested positive or are required to self-isolate
  • Effective management of symptomatic pupils / staff at school

Research shows that transmission rates between children and other children, and children and adults in schools is very low; and transmission is more likely in households or via community-based activities for example, sleepovers, children’s parties, parents meeting in other homes etc.

Children should not be mixing outside of the classroom environment and contact groups/classroom bubbles only apply within the school setting.

It is extremely important that we all continue to follow the guidance around hand-washing, social distancing and face coverings. We cannot reiterate how important this is to reduce transmission within our communities.

Please remember:

  • Only one parent to drop-off/collect children
  • Wear face coverings (unless exempt)
  • Maintain a minimum of 2m social distance from other adults including school staff
  • Do not gather at the school - leave as soon as you have dropped off/collected your children
  • Do not to attend school if self-isolating or you have any symptoms
  • Do not enter the school grounds without permission (unless in an emergency)

If you or your child or anyone else living in your household has any of the Covid-19 symptoms, you must immediately self-isolate and get tested. It is also important that you inform your school if your child tests positive.

If a child/parent/household member develops symptoms of COVID-19, the entire household should immediately self-isolate, and you should book a test for the individual with the symptoms.

The COVID-19 symptoms are:

a new continuous cough: this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature) 
a high temperature: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
loss of or change to sense of smell or taste: this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If your child becomes unwell outside of school hours with any of the COVID-19 symptoms or needs to self-isolate, please report this to us by calling Delta Wellbeing on 0300 333 2222 or by emailing who will notify the school on your behalf.

Please only contact Delta Wellbeing out of hours if your child has COVID-19 symptoms. During school hours and for all other health-related issues please inform your school directly.

If a child does NOT have symptoms of COVID-19 but has other cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, they do not need to be tested and they and you do not need to self-isolate. Your child can go to school if fit to do so.

We recommend testing only for those with a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or loss of or change in the sense of taste or smell.

To apply for a test for yourself or someone in your household with symptoms including children under 5s please visit the Welsh Government website or call 119.

If you or your child feels unwell and need medical advice, please telephone NHS 111 for advice or visit their website or telephone your GP.

It is essential that anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms, or who shares a household with someone who has symptoms, must self-isolate, even if your symptoms are mild. To protect others, you must not attend school, nursery, other childcare settings, work, or go to or to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started. They can return to school or work after 10 days if they are well enough to do so.

Anyone in the household who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days from when the first person in the home started having symptoms.

If a parent thinks their child has symptoms BUT chooses not to put them through a test all household members must remain in self-isolation for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.

If you receive a positive test result, you will be contacted by the Test, Trace, Protect Team who will advise you further.

If the test is negative, self-isolation can end for everyone, children may return to school and parents can return to work if they are well enough to do so and as long as nobody else in the household has developed symptoms.

Parents and carers on low incomes with children who are self-isolating are now eligible for a £500 support payment.

More information on self-isolating

Strict procedures are in place for this and the child will be kept in a separate room until they can be collected and taken home. The room and any surfaces they have come into contact with will be thoroughly cleaned.

Similarly, if a member of staff develops symptoms, they will leave the premises immediately and a thorough clean of their classroom and any surfaces they have come into contact with will be carried out.

When a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified as attending an educational or childcare setting (staff or pupil) contact will be made with the case (or parent) to assess whether they attended the school during their infectious period and whether further tracing of contacts in the school is needed.

If any staff member or child within the school is a contact of the case, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days and contacted by the local Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) team. If your child is required to self-isolate, everyone else in the household can continue as normal (however if your child becomes symptomatic, the whole household would then need to self-isolate). It is important parents answer their phones to the TTP Team as they will be providing information and advice and will be able to answer any questions you may have.

If a staff member or child from the school is not a contact of the case, they will not be required to self-isolate.

A positive test does not require closure of that school. The process of testing and contact tracing is part of the ‘new normal’ and where schools follow these guidelines carefully, there is no cause for alarm.

If there are multiple cases of COVID-19 in a school then experts from across the NHS and local government will work together to prevent ongoing transmission within the school. This will involve identifying those exposed, any child or staff member who is at increased risk and providing tailored infection control advice. Advice based on the assessment of each individual situation will be provided to support the school in preventing further spread.

Further information and questions and answers about Test, Trace, Protect can be found on the Welsh Government website.

If your child is routinely tested for COVID-19 whilst receiving medical care or treatment for an unrelated condition, they must remain at home and not attend school until the test result has been received.

If the result is negative, they can return to school immediately; however, if the result is positive, they must continue to isolate for a period of 10 days from the date of test (this means they can return to school on day 11).

If a child/parent/household member develops symptoms of COVID-19, the entire household should immediately self-isolate, and book a test for the individual with the symptoms. It is not necessary to test the entire household if they are not symptomatic.

The COVID-19 symptoms are:

a new continuous cough
a high temperature
loss of or change to sense of smell or taste

If a child has been in contact with someone experiencing symptoms, they should carry on as normal until that individual receives their test result.

If this is positive, the TTP Team will contact people identified as contacts.

Contact means:

face-to-face contact with someone less than 1 metre away (including when you have worn a face covering or face mask)
spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
travelling in a car with someone (even on a short journey)

If your child is required to self-isolate, everyone else in the household, including any siblings, can continue as normal and go to work / school. However if your child becomes symptomatic, the whole household would then need to self-isolate.


Not everyone will be contacted by a contact tracing advisor. Much of the advice and guidance will be issued via the school.

When a school has a positive case of COVID-19, all those who are in the pupil’s school group or ‘bubble’ are immediately asked to self-isolate and work from home as a precautionary and preventative measure whilst the Test, Trace, Protect process gets underway to identify those individuals that are direct contacts.

If it is established your child has not come into contact with the individual concerned, then you will be notified by the school with a date they can return to class (as long as they are fit and well with no symptoms). A contact tracing advisor will only speak to those identified as direct contacts.

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Education & Schools