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.

Symptoms & Self-Isolation Guidelines

Please read this guidance carefully. It is very important that people with symptoms of or a positive COVID-19 test and their household members stay at home. Staying at home will help prevent the spread of the virus to family, friends, the wider community, and particularly those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Self-isolation impacts all household members including parents/carers and siblings. Please remember if a child or adult has any of the following symptoms, however mild:

  • new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • loss of taste or smell, 

then the child/adult as well as their household must self-isolate immediately. Self-isolation lasts at least 10 days for the person with symptoms. For those in the household (including siblings) without symptoms, they must self-isolate for 14 days; if during those 14 days they develop symptoms, they must self-isolate for at least 10 days from that point. The links below clarify how these timings change if a positive or negative test result is received.

Please do not send a child into school if they are showing any of the above symptoms. If they are showing symptoms, keep them and the household at home, self-isolate, and try to get a test. Please keep the school updated via email/phone.

Please ensure that you read the following NHS online guidance about:

Graphic showing how a family should self-isolate in the same house

Useful Links:

NHS COVID-19 App to download -

COVID-19 - Stay at Home Guidance:

COVID-19 - Education & Childcare:

COVID-19 - Test & Trace: Information from PHE & NHS Test & Trace to School Leaders