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Communicable Diseases and Sickness Absence


If your child is too unwell to come to school, you need to let us know as soon as possible. You can do this:

  • by phone on 01480 452032
  • by email office@wyton.cambs.sch.uk
  • by sending in a written note, for example with a brother or sister or a family friend
  • by coming to the school office in person

If your child is absent and we have not heard from you by 9.30am, we will probably phone you to find out where your child is. This procedure is for your child’s safety.

Following an absence, we are required to obtain from parents a written note outlining the reason for the absence, so that we can keep our records up to date.

How long should my child stay off school if they are ill?
If you are not sure how long your child should be off school the table below will provide a guide for you.  For more information on an illness or condition and the latest up-to-date guidance please visit nhs.co.uk .


Recommended period to be kept away from school (once child is well)


Diarrhoea and/or vomiting (with or without a specified diagnosis)

Until diarrhoea and vomiting has settled (ie neither has occurred for the previous 48 hours). Please check with the school before sending your child back.

Usually there will be no specific diagnosis and for most conditions there is no specific treatment. A longer period of time away from school may be appropriate for children under age 5 and older children unable to maintain good personal hygiene.


Until all spots have crusted and formed a scab – usually five to seven days from onset of rash

Chicken pox causes a rash of red, itchy spots that turn into fluid-filled blisters. They then crust over to form scabs, which eventually drop off.

Cold sores


Many healthy children and adults excrete this virus at some time without having a ‘sore’ (herpes simplex virus)

German measles

Five days from onset of rash

The child is most infectious before the diagnosis is made and most children should be immune to immunisation so that time away from school after the rash appears will prevent very few cases

Hand, foot and mouth disease


Usually a mild disease not justifying time off school


48 hours after treatment starts and/or until lesions are crusted or healed

Antibiotic treatment by mouth may speed healing. If lesions can reliably be kept covered time away from school may be shortened


Five days from onset of rash

Measles is now rare in the UK

Molluscum contagiosum


A mild condition

Ringworm (Tinea)


Proper treatment by the GP is important.  Scalp ringworm needs treatment with an antifungal by mouth



A mild illness, usually caught from well persons


Until treated

Outbreaks have occasionally occurred in schools and nurseries. Child can return as soon as properly treated. Treatment should include all the persons in the household.

Scarlet fever

Five days from child commencing antibiotics

Treatment recommended for the affected

Slapped cheek or Fifth disease (Parvovirus)


Exclusion is ineffective as nearly all transmission takes place before the child becomes unwell.

Warts and verrucae


Affected children may go swimming and do PE but verrucae should be covered

E-coli and Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

Depends on the type of E-coli; school to seek further advice from the Local Authority team


Until diarrhoea has settled for the previous 48 hours)

There is a specific antibiotic treatment


Until diarrhoea and vomiting has settled (neither for the previous 48 hours)

If the child is under five years or has difficulty in personal hygiene, school to seek further advice from the Local Authority team

Shigella (Bacillary dysentery)

Until diarrhoea has settled (for the previous 48 hours)

If the child is under five years or had difficulty in personal hygiene, seek advice from the Consultant in Communicable Disease Control.

Flu (Influenza)


Flu is most infectious just before and at the onset of symptoms


Local Authority team will advise

Generally requires quite prolonged, close contact for spread on action. Not usually spread from children.

Whooping cough (Pertussis)

Five days from commencing antibiotic treatment

Treatment (usually with erythromycin) is recommended though non-infectious coughing may still continue for many weeks



If an outbreak occurs consult Consultant in Communicable Disease Control

Glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis)


Head lice (nits)


Chemical treatment is recommended only in cases where live lice have definitely been seen; combing through the hair regularly with a specialist comb is advisable to prevent infestation

Hepatitis A

See comments

There is no justification for time away from school for well older children with good hygiene who will have been much more infectious prior to the  diagnosis. Time away from school is justified for five days from the onset of jaundice or stools going pale for the under fives or where hygiene is poor

Meningococcal  meningitis/septicaemia

The Local Authority will give specific advice on any action needed

There is no reason for siblings and other close contacts of a case to be kept away from school

Meningitis not due to Meningococcalinfection


Once the child is well infection risk is minimal


Five days from onset of swollen glands

The child is most infectious before the diagnosis is made and most children should be immune due to immunisation



Transmission is uncommon in schools but treatment is recommended for the child and family.



There are many causes, but most cases are due to viruses and do not need an antibiotic.  For one cause, streptococcal infection, antibiotic treatment is recommended

Wyton on the Hill Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
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