Dudley Council
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Coronavirus advice for parents and families

Children and young people are now able to enjoy more freedom and socialisation in their schools and colleges. The information below helps support parents and families.

School guidance

  • It is still vital that any child or young person with Covid symptoms, no matter how mild, (see symptoms and testing below) self isolates and immediately takes a PCR test. If the test result is negative they may return to education, if positive they must self isolate for 10 days. You must notify the school or college of the need to test and of the result.
  • In schools and colleges there will no longer be ‘bubbles’
  • The rules on self-isolation have changed. Close contacts of a positive case (including households) no longer need to self-isolate if they are:
    • fully vaccinated
    • are under the age of 18 and a half
    • can’t have the vaccination for medical reasons
    • or have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
    • Close contacts must however take a PCR test and then isolate if positive or if they have any symptoms.  Young children aged four and under do not need a PCR if they are a close contact, only if they have symptoms or someone in their house tests positive.
    • If you need support getting a child to school, where there is a positive or symptomatic case in the household and no support is available from family or friends, please contact your school for help.
  • Students at secondary schools and colleges must  test twice weekly at home and log their results.
  • Staff in all educational settings will also continue to take two lateral flow tests each week and log their results.
  • All children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a 1st dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Young people aged 12-17 at high risk from Covid-19 will be offered 2 doses of the vaccine. More information on who can get the vaccine.
  • Face coverings are now a personal choice however they will be required on school transport.

Recent PHE data suggests adult vaccinations and the rapid asymptomatic testing programme contributed to reducing the risk of infection in schools. By working together in partnership with your school or college, we can all help to reduce infections and keep our children and young people in education.

More information

Our five family centres can signpost you to advice and support.

The Family Information Service has information about childcare provision.

To keep up-to-date with the latest schools information, sign up for our e-bulletin.


Advice in the event of a school outbreak

If there is an outbreak, or if cases rise significantly in a local area, parents may be advised that some measures need to be temporarily reintroduced to reduce the spread of the virus.

When necessary, local authorities can introduce local measures to reduce transmission in settings and help keep students and staff safe. Therefore, in response to an outbreak in an education setting, Dudley Public Health advise that the following measures are introduced:

  • Facemasks are worn in communal areas where social distancing cannot be maintained (this applies to both staff and visitors in all settings, and staff, students and visitors in secondary schools and colleges)
  • Any child identified as a close contact of a positive case within a school/college, by NHS Test & Trace or the school/college in conjunction with Dudley Public Health must undertake a PCR test* and should not attend the setting until the result is known. If the result is positive, they should isolate for 10 full days, in line with the guidance. If the result is negative, they can return to school/college and should undertake daily Lateral Flow Tests* for 7 days after the date of the PCR test. Information on how to access lateral flow test kits. 
  • Any child that has a positive case in their household (e.g. sibling or parent), must undertake a PCR test and should not attend the setting until the result is known. If the result is positive, they should isolate for 10 full days, in line with the guidance. If the result is negative, they can return to the setting and are encouraged to undertake daily Lateral Flow Tests* for 7 days after the date of the PCR test. Information on how to access lateral flow test kits.

*only applicable to those 5 years of age and over

Symptoms and testing

Symptoms & testing

Do not send your child to school if they or a member of your household are displaying symptoms.

If your child has any one of the main symptoms of Covid-19:

  • a new, continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

They should immediately self-isolate for 10 days and book a test either online or by calling 119.

More information on self-isolation, including who needs to isolate and support during isolation.


Other symptoms

Does anyone in your household have other symptoms?

Some people who have tested positive for Covid-19 have displayed other symptoms. Although these are not the main Covid-19 symptoms, we would like to encourage residents to get tested as a precaution:

  • loss of appetite
  • sore throat
  • extreme tiredness
  • sneezing
  • headaches
  • joint pain or muscle ache
  • nausea
  • runny nose or congestion
  • rash
  • *Diarrhoea (must be clear of symptoms for 48hrs before returning to setting)
  • **Vomiting (must be clear of symptoms for 48hrs before returning to nursery)

When booking coronavirus test online, select the below option on the COVID test booking form:

  • My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms

If you have any of these other symptoms you do not need to isolate unless you have a positive test result.

Please note:

  • If anyone in your household has any of these other symptoms (apart from diarrhoea* and vomiting**) they can carry on attending school or work if they are well enough to do so and are not already self-isolating.
  • If someone has tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days, they should not be retested during this period unless they are displaying any of the three main Covid-19 symptoms. This is because it is possible for tests to remain positive for some time after infection.
  • If the test result is positive, the infected person must isolate for 10 full days from the first day of symptoms with day one being the day after symptoms started.
  • If the test result is negative but the individual then develops a high temperature, new, continuous cough or loss or change of taste or sense of smell they must self-isolate and you must arrange another test for them.

Symptom-free testing

Rapid symptom-free Covid-19 tests are also referred to as lateral flow tests (LFT).

Regular, twice weekly rapid testing for people without symptoms is a vital part of the fight against Covid-19.

One in three people don’t have any Covid-19 symptoms, so don’t know they have the virus. Rapid symptom free testing finds hidden cases, ensuring you don’t pass it onto family members, friends or workmates, stopping the spread of the virus.

The symptom free test is a painless, quick and easy throat and nose swab and results are available within an hour.

How to access symptom-free testing.

Support for parents and carers

Parenting Service

The Parenting Team organises and co-ordinates a range of parenting programmes, to offer support to families in the Dudley borough.

Family Centres

Our five family centres can also offer advice and support on all things family.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Learning Support Service

Do you have a child with special educational needs?

Dudley’s Learning Support Service can offer advice and support to parents.

We can offer parents and carers valuable information and advice on what could work best for your child.

Our expertise can help you identify the right apps, games & support to help your child reach their potential

Learning Support Service - support line

Dudley's SEND Local offer

The local offer supports children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities to live independent and fulfilling lives. 


Family Fund

The Family Fund can provide support with online learning and other support for children with disabilities. 

Further support