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Are school children legally required to self isolate

(36 Posts)
prowlingbrooms Sun 25-Oct-20 23:23:24

If a school tells children to self isolate LEGALLY do they have to do so?
Since September it has been illegal to not self isolate if you have a positive test or if you are told to isolate by track and trace. But being sent home as a year group does not fall into either of these categories. Or does it?
I’m not talking about whether they should self isolate (yes). I just want to know the law.

OP’s posts: |
Fuzzlewuzzle Sun 25-Oct-20 23:32:25

Apps fly it is. We tried to challenge with a new test result but where basically shouted at by DHT that this is the law and it is very clear...even though govt advice conflicted with NHS advice and did not seem clear to us. DD in y13 had to stay indoors for two weeks and had driving test cancelled. I know it could have been far worse of course but was nonetheless hard for her

Fuzzlewuzzle Sun 25-Oct-20 23:32:58

Apparently not apps fly !

MarjorytheTrashHeap Sun 25-Oct-20 23:37:17

I have one DC in isolation at the moment. The letter sent out by schools is basically from Track and Trace - there is a template letter and they let schools do the communication part, so officially the self-isolation rules are the same as anyone else contacted by Track and Trace.

We have kept DD in according to the guidelines, but I suspect there is no official follow-up for schoolchildren from track and trace.

AldiAisleofCrap Sun 25-Oct-20 23:38:56

Yes it’s illegal not to but it’s irrelevant.

FatGirlShrinking Sun 25-Oct-20 23:40:04

Schools are required to notify the public health team who determine who needs to be classed as a 'close contact'. The school is then provided template comms to issue to all people identified as close contacts advising that they need to self isolate for 14 days. This is classed as official notification, it's not done by the test and trace contact tracers as that would be duplication.

The legislation does not specify who makes the contact just that once identified as a close contact and told to self isolate you are legally required to do so

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1045/made

Torvean32 Mon 26-Oct-20 00:07:38

FatGirlShrinking

Schools are required to notify the public health team who determine who needs to be classed as a 'close contact'. The school is then provided template comms to issue to all people identified as close contacts advising that they need to self isolate for 14 days. This is classed as official notification, it's not done by the test and trace contact tracers as that would be duplication.

The legislation does not specify who makes the contact just that once identified as a close contact and told to self isolate you are legally required to do so

www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1045/made

I wish more ppl knew this. Ppl are saying if they're not directly contacted by track and trace then it's not law.

prowlingbrooms Mon 26-Oct-20 00:12:56

Thanks all

OP’s posts: |
PineappleUpsideDownCake Mon 26-Oct-20 00:15:23

Yes. The isolation for 14 days is because you may have a negative test on say day 6, but then develop symptoms and be positve by day 14.

The covid test doesnt tell if youre "brewing" it so you need to wait the 14 days to see.

Mindymomo Mon 26-Oct-20 07:06:15

@PineappleUpsideDownCake.

This is exactly what my adult son is having to deal with. He was sent home last Tuesday as confirmed case at his work in his bubble. The firm sent private tests and out of these 40 another 3 were positive (no symptoms). The firm texted my son saying your test was negative, see you Monday. He has spent hours on the phone to everyone telling them that they should still be isolating, the firm are saying only if you’re contacted by T&T do you need to. He is definitely not going in.

lippynotgloss Mon 26-Oct-20 07:25:40

Interesting and useful to know. My DD's bubble has been off & I have wondered about this.

SarahMused Mon 26-Oct-20 07:53:05

According to human rights barrister Adam Wagner (@AdamWagner1 on twitter) the advice to isolate as a contact of someone testing positive is only legally binding if it comes from test and trace. A letter from a school or employer only becomes a legal requirement when and if test and trace follow it up. It is also not a legal requirement if it comes from the app. He has done a useful video explaining the law youtu.be/nJxVenUfEzQ for anyone interested and also covers other aspects in other videos which are equally clear and helpful.

SarahMused Mon 26-Oct-20 08:03:27

Mindymomo I wonder whether the private tests done by the employer are part of the test and trace system? Morally you would hope that they would be reported so the contacts could be followed up. However I think it sounds like the employer is trying to deal with it in house and a negative test is not proof that you haven‘t got covid. Difficult to understand their motivation here, could be financial or they may think they are doing the right thing by testing. Will your son get paid if he is off work for 14 days?

Sedona123 Mon 26-Oct-20 08:23:15

Alan Wagner should be ashamed of himself. Complete twat to be telling people to ignore advice to self isolate.

I'm in tier 2, and have heard in the last week of a few wfh parents who have caught covid from their dc who were asked by school to self isolate.

Barbie222 Mon 26-Oct-20 08:26:30

Yes, thats why there's a ten grand fine, which would be quite a lot of driving lessons.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Mon 26-Oct-20 08:37:47

The legislation does not specify who makes the contact just that once identified as a close contact and told to self isolate you are legally required to do so

This isn’t correct.
It says you have to be notified by either the Secretary of State, a person employed by the health service or a person employed by the local authority.

So if the school is an academy and none of those apply?

It also says that if a child I am responsible for is identified as a close contact then I have to notify the Secretary of State as to the names of the other people in our household. Um, what now?

Barbie222 Mon 26-Oct-20 08:39:49

* It says you have to be notified by either the Secretary of State, a person employed by the health service or a person employed by the local authority.*

You are notified by the DfE who acts as the "secretary of state". They give model letters for schools to use.

FatGirlShrinking Mon 26-Oct-20 09:04:28

JellyBabiesSaveLives

*The legislation does not specify who makes the contact just that once identified as a close contact and told to self isolate you are legally required to do so*

This isn’t correct.
It says you have to be notified by either the Secretary of State, a person employed by the health service or a person employed by the local authority.

So if the school is an academy and none of those apply?

It also says that if a child I am responsible for is identified as a close contact then I have to notify the Secretary of State as to the names of the other people in our household. Um, what now?


The schools are given template comms from public health who are members of local authority acting on behalf of the Secretary of State.

What is the overall point of arguing the self isolation, is the end goal for someone to say, 'ah fuck it, just go about your business as normal and infect as many people as you can'?

Harleyisme Mon 26-Oct-20 09:19:48

Our school didn't send out template comms letters they made up there own.
I get confused as on day 14 of isolation they get a child tested positive so the 14 days starts again even though the kids haven't been anywhere near each other for the 14 day isolation.

Changedmynameagain1 Mon 26-Oct-20 09:24:15

Here there are two different things, you are either advised by school that Public health England have said you must self isloate. That is for very close contact. There is then the bubble closure initially whilst waiting for Public health England to notify where they say everyone must self islote until PHE confirm exactly who.
We then have public closures when too many staff or pupils have got it that the bubble closes and it’s remote learning but you don’t need to self isloate

Changedmynameagain1 Mon 26-Oct-20 09:25:08

Public = bubble

Orcus Mon 26-Oct-20 09:28:12

Sedona123

Alan Wagner should be ashamed of himself. Complete twat to be telling people to ignore advice to self isolate.

I'm in tier 2, and have heard in the last week of a few wfh parents who have caught covid from their dc who were asked by school to self isolate.

He isn't. You clearly haven't bothered watching the video before mouthing off.

Speaking as someone who has actually been paying attention, Adam Wagner has done brilliant work over the course of the pandemic explaining the ever changing, frequently badly drafted and byzantine legislation to people, for free.

Kitcat122 Mon 26-Oct-20 09:38:18

If a school has a positive. They contact T&T who advise the school who needs to isolate. So it effectively is from track and trace. Its rubbish but its what we have to do. It's going to be a difficult winter especially for children. But we just have to get on with it.

TheTeenageYears Mon 26-Oct-20 09:48:15

The problem is schools aren't (generally) contact tracing, they are just telling whole bubbles to self isolate which I have a bit of a problem with. I understand it's extra work to contact trace for close contacts but year groups could quite easily be out of school more than they are in it if the self isolation doesn't just apply to close contacts. I can't think of another scenario where several hundred people are expected to self isolate without knowing they have been a close contact of the affected positive case.

Everlastingyes Mon 26-Oct-20 09:48:28

It’s ridiculous. My daughter was sent home for two weeks due to being in contact with an infected person. Back at school 4 days then sent home for another two weeks. It’s not just two weeks off school it’s basically being a prisoner in your own home. She has had 4 weeks of being kept a prisoner and she is fine. I would rather her do schooling online if that’s is how it’s going to be. She has had 4 weeks of being stuck in the house for a few weeks (2?) of education. Her mental health is suffering. I dare say after half term this will happen again. She has exams next year but has become disinterested in studying as she is feeling so low.

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