Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm

Symptoms & Government Guidelines

  • Daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 - From 14 December, a new national approach to daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 has been introduced. All adults who are fully vaccinated and children aged 5 to18 years and 6 months, identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 (whether Omicron or not), should take an LFD test every day for 7 days instead of self-isolating. Children under five years old do not need to take part in daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 and do not need to isolate.
  • Self-Isolation period – this continues to be 10 days. From Monday 17 January, people who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace. If the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest. If after 10 days you still have a high temperature, then continue to isolate under the temperature is normal.

  • Anyone with Covid symptoms or a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result should stay at home, self-isolate immediately and arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible. Please keep the school ( informed if a child has a positive LFD test and the outcome of the PCR test. From 11 January 2022, if you are asymptomatic but have a positive lateral flow test you do not need to have a PCR test and continue your isolation as before.
  • If the PCR test is negative, the pupil can return to school. If the PCR test is positive, please inform the school and follow the latest Government guidance for confirmed Covid infections.
  • If a child develops symptoms while at school, they will be asked to wait in one of our self-isolation rooms while a parent is contacted and asked to collect them as quickly as possible.
  • Please keep children at home if they are feeling unwell. Even if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms, or their COVID-19 test is negative, they may still have an illness which could be passed on to other people.

Useful Links:

The self isolating rules for Covid 19 have now changed (updated December 2021) - the new rules can be found on the NHS website using the following link:

Travel Quarantine Rules -

COVID-19 Guidance for Parents of Children Attending Out of School Settings/Clubs: Guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

COVID-19 Support for Parents & Carers to Keep Children Safe Online:

COVID-19 - What Parents & Carers Need To Know About Early Years, Schools & Colleges during the Covid Outbreak:

Guidance for local Authority Children's Services -

COVID-19 - Stay at Home Guidance: