St Osmund's Catholic Primary School

St Osmund's Catholic Primary School

Love for God - Love for each other - Love for learning

Sickness - managing absence and infection control

In addition to the school's advice to parents about managing cases and outbreaks of Covid-19, we detail below the recommended absence period for managing other infections.


Recommended absence period for preventing the spread of infection

This list of recommended absence periods for preventing the spread of infection is taken from non-statutory guidance for schools and other childcare settings from Public Health England. For each of these infections or complaints, there is further information in the guidance on the symptoms, how it spreads and some ‘do’s and don’ts’ to follow that you can check.

Infection or complaint

Recommended period to be kept away from school or nursery

Athlete’s foot



Until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.

Chicken pox (shingles)

Cases of chickenpox are generally infectious from 2 days before the rash appears to 5 days after the onset of rash. Although the usual exclusion period is 5 days, all lesions should be crusted over before children return to nursery or school.

A person with shingles is infectious to those who have not had chickenpox and should be excluded from school if the rash is weeping and cannot be covered or until the rash is dry and crusted over.

Cold sores


Rubella (German measles)

5 days from appearance of the rash.

Hand, foot and mouth

Children are safe to return to school or nursery as soon as they are feeling better; there is no need to stay off until the blisters have all healed.


Until lesions are crusted and healed, or 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment.


Cases are infectious from 4 days before onset of rash to 4 days after so it is important to ensure cases are excluded from school during this period.


Exclusion not needed once treatment has started.


The infected child or staff member should be excluded until after the first treatment has been carried out.

Scarlet fever

Children can return to school 24 hours after commencing appropriate antibiotic treatment. If no antibiotics have been administered the person will be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks. If there is an outbreak of scarlet fever at the school or nursery, the health protection team will assist with letters and factsheet to send to parents/carers/staff.

Slapped cheek syndrome, Parvovirus B19, Fifth’s disease

None (not infectious by the time the rash has developed).

Bacillary Dysentery (Shigella)

Microbiological clearance is required for some types of shigella species prior to the child or food handler returning to school.

Diarrhoea and/or vomiting (Gastroenteritis)

Children and adults with diarrhoea or vomiting should be excluded until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped and they are well enough to return. If medication is prescribed, ensure that the full course is completed and there is no further diarrhoea or vomiting for 48 hours after the course is completed.

For some gastrointestinal infections, longer periods of exclusion from school are required and there may be a need to obtain microbiological clearance. For these groups, your local health protection team, school health advisor or environmental health officer will advise.

If a child has been diagnosed with cryptosporidium, they should NOT go swimming for 2 weeks following the last episode of diarrhoea.


Until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.

E. coli (verocytotoxigenic or VTEC)

The standard exclusion period is until 48 hours after symptoms have resolved. However, some people pose a greater risk to others and may be excluded until they have a negative stool sample (for example, pre-school infants, food handlers, and care staff working with vulnerable people). The health protection team will advise in these instances.

Food poisoning

Until 48 hours from the last episode of vomiting and diarrhoea and they are well enough to return. Some infections may require longer periods (local health protection team will advise).


Until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.

Typhoid and Paratyphoid fever

Seek advice from environmental health officers or the local health protection team.

Flu (influenza)

Until recovered.

Tuberculosis (TB)

Pupils and staff with infectious TB can return to school after 2 weeks of treatment if well enough to do so and as long as they have responded to anti-TB therapy. Pupils and staff with non-pulmonary TB do not require exclusion and can return to school as soon as they are well enough.

Whooping cough (pertussis)

A child or staff member should not return to school until they have had 48 hours of appropriate treatment with antibiotics and they feel well enough to do so or 21 days from onset of illness if no antibiotic treatment.




Until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.

Glandular fever

None (can return once they feel well).

Head lice



Hepatitis A

Exclude cases from school while unwell or until 7 days after the onset of jaundice (or onset of symptoms if no jaundice, or if under 5, or where hygiene is poor. There is no need to exclude well, older children with good hygiene who will have been much more infectious prior to diagnosis.

Hepatitis B

Acute cases of hepatitis B will be too ill to attend school and their doctors will advise when they can return. Do not exclude chronic cases of hepatitis B or restrict their activities. Similarly, do not exclude staff with chronic hepatitis B infection. Contact your local health protection team for more advice if required.

Hepatitis C


Meningococcal meningitis/ septicaemia

If the child has been treated and has recovered, they can return to school.


Once the child has been treated (if necessary) and has recovered, they can return to school. No exclusion is needed.

Meningitis viral





5 days after onset of swelling (if well).




Until 48 hours after symptoms have subsided.