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COVID-19, MS and schools

Find out how schools have adapted to coronavirus, and what each government advises.

We updated this information page on Wednesday 6 April 2022

Follow the links for further information:

  1. Are there still COVID-19 guidelines for schools?
  2. Is it safe for children with MS to be in school?
  3. What if my child is self-isolating?
  4. What precautions will schools take against coronavirus?

1. Are there still COVID-19 guidelines for schools?

The Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh governments all have COVID-19 guidance for schools. In England, there’s no specific COVID-19 guidance for schools when they go back after Easter in 2022.

There could be times when there are local restrictions affecting schools. The school should let you know, or your local council website should have details. Find your local council at gov.uk

Read the Scottish government COVID-19 guidance for schools

Read the Northern Ireland Executive COVID-19 guidance for schools 

Read the Welsh government COVID-19 guidance for schools

Read the government’s COVID-19 guidance for everyone in England

2. Is it safe for children with MS to be in school?

In September 2020, a group of leading neurologists in childhood MS agreed that children with MS are not a high risk group for coronavirus. And that almost all children should return to school full time when they're open.

In a statement they said:

  • Nothing can be 100% safe. But their experience across the UK over the past 6 months hasn’t shown that their patients are at high risk - even when they've been exposed to COVID-19
  • Children with MS rarely have other conditions as well as MS, or ongoing physical symptoms like problems with walking. These are two factors that could put people with MS at higher risk
  • The academic and social benefits of going to school and socialising outweigh the risk from the virus
  • Unless your child’s neurologist suggests taking extra precautions, they should follow government guidance for all children at school

Read the full September 2020 statement about children with MS

3. What if my child is self-isolating?

No one who needs to self-isolate should go to school. Self-isolating pupils should be suported by their school to do so. That might include remote learning if they’re off for some time.

In some nations, the COVID-19 guidance includes how schools should manage this. In England, there is separate government guidance for remote learning

4. What precautions will schools take against coronavirus?

Government guidance and rules for schools varies across the UK nations. And the details will be different from school to school.

Your school should be able to explain any steps they’re taking to manage the risks of COVID-19. But they should follow the guidance in your nation.

Remember you're not alone

We're here for you. If you’re worried about your MS and coronavirus and want to chat to someone, call our MS Helpline on 0808 800 8000. We’re here Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm except bank holidays.

If you'd like to talk your worries through online with other people who know MS, visit our Online Community Forum today.

You can join one of our Virtual Wellbeing sessions and connect online with other people living with MS across the UK. Or you could sign up for an information webinar. We've got plenty to choose from, take a look at our online sessions and see what suits you.

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