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The NASUWT is becoming increasingly concerned that pupils who are sent home from school due to displaying COVID-19 symptoms are being sent back to school prematurely, potentially putting staff and other pupils at risk of contracting Covid-19.

We are calling for schools to be able to refuse re-admittance to children who went off with Covid-19 symptoms until either the 10-day isolation period has passed or proof of a negative test result is provided. This needs to be backed up with updated DfE guidance provided to schools.

The current government guidance states that ‘Schools should not request evidence of negative test results or other medical evidence before admitting children or welcoming them back after a period of self-isolation.’

NASUWT General Secretary Patrick Roach said:

“It is clear that some parents will struggle where their children are required to self-isolate, and indeed a lack of financial support for parents may well be a driver for pupils to be sent back to school inappropriately.

“But this cannot trump the requirements to self-isolate and if infectious children are sent back to school, this risks a much larger outbreak. “

“Whilst the NASUWT agrees that a negative test is not required after the requisite period of self-isolation, this is different to a child returning early from a suspected case.

“Where a child is sent home with COVID-19 symptoms they should be tested and the school should be able to ask for this result in order to ensure the health and safety of others in the school.

“Schools should be given the power to refuse to admit the child until the 10-day isolation period has elapsed or proof of a negative test result is provided. Taking it on trust that the child has tested negative is clearly insufficient.  

“Where schools have concerns that a pupil has returned to school prematurely, they should be able to insist that the pupil remains at home for the remainder of the self-isolation period or until a negative test result is provided.”
 

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