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Returning to education for pupils and students
Returning to education for pupils and students

 

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This information is aimed at young people aged 12 years and above and their parents/carers.  We recommend that children read this information and watch the video with their parents/carers. Parents/carers may find the information and video useful to help younger children by adapting the strategies to suit a younger age group. If you have had COVID, you might have symptoms that last for more than four weeks or several months. This is sometimes called long COVID, which is commonly used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after an acute COVID infection for over 4 weeks that cannot be explained by an alternative medical diagnosis. This information gives you some ideas of things you can do to make sure that you get back to your normal activities as easily and quickly as possible. Return to Top

I think I have long COVID symptoms, what should I do?

If you think that you have ongoing symptoms that are impacting your day-to-day activities and may be related to having had COVID, please speak to your parent, guardian or carer, education setting or school nurse – they will be able to support with making an appointment with your doctor (GP) who will talk to you more about how you are feeling and how they can help. Return to Top

If I have symptoms of long COVID, should I still attend school?

Regular school attendance underpins educational attainment and life chances and can be really effective at improving overall wellbeing. Unlike COVID, long COVID is not an infectious disease. If you don’t feel well enough to take part in your usual school or out-of-school activities, your school will help to arrange a meeting with you, your parent/guardian/carer and anyone else involved in your care. During this meeting you can talk to your school (e.g., your form tutor, your teacher and/or your school special needs co-coordinator) about what adjustments can be put in place to support you to attend your school or education setting as normally as possible. The things your school or education setting may be able to do to support you include:
  • Regular check-ins with you about how you are feeling, and how they can support you Increased pastoral support
  • Helping you to return to school gradually and increasing the amount of time you spend in school as you start to feel better
  • Changing your lesson plans or activities, to make sure you can still take part in these
  • Your setting can also refer you to the school nurse, Educational Psychologist, or other school-based therapists, who will be able to give you further advice and support
  • If you already have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or support plan, the inclusion or special needs co-ordinator at your school will be able to ensure that any support that is provided to you while you recover is linked into these.
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I’m worried about my mental health as a result of long COVID, where can I access support?

You may be experiencing a range of moods and emotions because of the impacts of long COVID. Your wellbeing and mental health are important, and you are not alone. If you feel worried about your mental health, it’s important that you talk to your parent or carer, teacher, school nurse, mental health lead or your GP as they will be able to help. You can also visit the NHS Every Mind Matters website, which can give you advice about the wellbeing support available to you including self-care tips and videos. Mental health and self-care tips for young people can be found on the NHS Every Mind Matters website at the following address: https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/mental-wellbeing-tips/youth-mental-health/ If you need help for a mental health crisis or emergency, you should get immediate help. Support is available, and you can find contact information for urgent mental health helplines on the NHS’s mental health services website here: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/mental-health-services/where-to-get-urgent-help-for-mental-health/ Return to Top

I’m worried about the impact of long COVID on my exams

It is normal to feel a bit worried about exams. If you are worried about exams, or are feeling under pressure, you are not alone and there are things you can do to help. These include going to the ‘Young Minds’ website, which has some useful advice and information on dealing with the stress of exams. You can also have a look at this guide on coping with exam pressure, which was put together by Ofqual (the regulator of exams and assessments in England). Some students need extra support to help them successfully sit their exams. For example, a student who is blind might need someone to read the exam paper to them. If you think you need extra support with taking your exams, speak to your teachers or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at school. Return to Top

More information

Just like adults, most children and young people who develop COVID recover within a few weeks and return to their usual daily activities and interests without experiencing ongoing problems related to the illness. However, recovery will be different from one child to the next. For more help with long COVID symptoms, you can access the following wellbeing resources on the ‘Your COVID recovery’ website: Return to Top

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