Covid-19 - School FAQs

Page updated on: 24/09/2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our schools are taking immediate action as soon as it's known a pupil or member of staff has tested positive for Covid-19.

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.

Pupils over 11 years old will be required to wear face coverings on school transport and in school indoor communal areas where social distancing cannot be maintained, unless they have a medical exemption.

Please continue to visit our Newsroom for the latest information. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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 re-opening. Get in touch via the "Ask a question" tab if there is anything you need additional information about.

COVID-19 symptoms / testing

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 TTP@deltawellbeing.org.uk 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 14 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 14 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.


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 14 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.

All members of the public who are displaying symptoms of coronavirus are now able to book tests for coronavirus, please visit the Public Health Wales website for more information.

The Test, Trace, Protect strategy is critical in supporting the increased operations of our schools. It sets out the next phase for tackling coronavirus; testing people with symptoms in the community, tracing those who have come into close contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus, and protecting family, friends and our community by self-isolating. More information on this can be found on the Welsh Government website.

Welsh Government has also confirmed that the rapid deployment of testing will be made available to support outbreaks by the NHS Wales Test Trace and Protect Programme in partnership with Local Health Boards who will facilitate PCR antigen testing for everybody in the school/setting ‘bubbles’ (small, consistent group of no more than 8) that are affected by the outbreak and everyone in the school/setting if it has been established that the setting has not followed Welsh Government guidelines for schools and/or Infection Prevention and Control measures.

The method for delivery and sampling of rapid antigen tests can be executed in a range of ways such as the deployment of Mobile Testing Units (MTUs), temporary testing satellites and drop off and collection routes. The most appropriate testing channel will be discussed and agreed between all stakeholders.

The Welsh Government is also undertaking a programme of antibody testing being rolled out to at least 10% of schools staff who have worked in hub schools during the pandemic.

Antibody testing will also be carried out at the end of term with an additional sample group consisting of the broader school community.

More information

Welsh Government has stated that education staff working in the hubs are a priority group in the new antibody testing programme.

Antibody testing will also be carried out at the end of term with an additional sample group consisting of the broader school community.

Further information

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.

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)

Education & Schools