Guidance on children with non-COVID ailments

Reassurance for parents and teachers.

Education Secretary John Swinney has asked council Directors of Education and Head Teachers to assist in sharing more information on coronavirus to parents and carers.

In addition, Scotland’s National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has written an open letter for parents with answers about when children need to be tested for coronavirus.

Cold-like Symptoms


  • We recommend testing only for those with a continuous cough, fever, or loss of or change in the sense of taste or smell. The UK senior clinicians continue to keep the symptoms for case definition under review and will continue to use evidence to adjust these if it becomes necessary.

COVID-19 Symptoms

The key symptoms to be aware of are:

  • A new continuous cough
  • fever/high temperature
  • loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste

If a young person or a child in your care develops any of the above symptoms, they should self-isolate and you should book them a test as soon as possible using the online portal at, or by calling 0800 028 2816.

Education Secretary John Swinney said:

“We know that many concerned parents, acting in their children’s best interests, have been keeping children off school. Parents, carers and schools need clear and simple national information, and that is why we are providing further advice today.

“It is critical that we remain vigilant for the symptoms of COVID-19 and this information explains the actions that we should take if someone develops signs of COVID-19 symptoms, either at school or at home.

“We will ensure that pupils, teachers and other school staff get the support they need to remain safe and feel comfortable in the school environment.”


Read National Clinical Director, Jason Leitch, letter here.

Clear information has also been published on the Parent Club website.

Link to relevant NHS Inform web page.


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