This page explains some of the changes that children and parents may experience in school during the current Coronavirus situation. All measures taken to reduce the risk of infection and ensure that the school is safe, are in-line with the latest government guidance.
COVID-19 Risk assessment summary (Jan 22)
The newly updated guidance sets the tone for the new way we are operating in schools.
‘ COVID-19 continues to be a virus that we learn to live with and the imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education remains.
Our priority is for you to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health.’ (Guidance Jan 22)
- Ensure good hygiene for everyone.
- Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.
- Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.
- Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.
All staff, visitors and children will sanitise on arrival (staff need to support and encourage children to do this). Throughout the day staff, visitors and children need to continue with regular handwashing and sanitising. There is hand sanitiser in all classrooms, entry and exit points and throughout the school. Staff should continue to promote hand sanitisation with children at regular points throughout the day.
Schools will continue with enhanced cleaning including cleaning of toilets and door handles within the school day. Anti-bacterial cleaning materials are available in all classrooms and shared areas.
Occupied spaces well ventilated
Doors and windows to remain open as much as possible (and maintaining comfort). Particularly in shared spaces like staff rooms and halls.
Testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
Testing – all staff to continue to self-administer lateral flow test twice weekly.
Self-isolation – if an adult or child has symptoms they should isolate immediately and get a PCR test. If you live with a person with symptoms then follow public health advice (further details below). Isolation points (Walgrave – leadership office, Pitsford – hall). Children should NOT be isolated in a corridor or shared space area. Children CAN be isolated outside if this is appropriate.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 – if the school becomes aware of a confirmed case of COVID-19 then this will be recorded via Sims. The school will follow up to date Public Health England advice and guidance.
Mixing and ‘bubbles’
There will be no bubbles and children and staff will be mixing fully.
Assemblies will resume fully and there is no need to make alternative lunchtime arrangements.
The curriculum can be delivered as we believe best for our children including the use of different ways of grouping and deployment of staff.
Our contingency plan (outbreak management plan) includes the re-introduction of bubbles and potential changes to assembly delivery as appropriate.
Staff (and visitors) are required to wear face masks in communal areas unless seated. Staff do not need to wear face masks whilst working directly with children.
“In primary schools, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and adults (including visitors) when moving around in corridors and communal areas. Health advice continues to be that children in primary schools should not be asked to wear face coverings.”
“When wearing a face covering, staff, visitors and pupils should:
- wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
- avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with the mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
- change the face covering if it becomes damp or if they’ve touched the part of the face covering in contact with the mouth and nose
- avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession to minimise potential contamination
When removing a face covering, staff, visitors and pupils should:
- wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
- only handle the straps, ties or clips
- not give it to someone else to use
- if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a household waste bin and do not recycle
- once removed, store reusable face coverings in a plastic bag until there is an opportunity to wash them.
- if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
- wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed
Managing children who are unwell
When an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test
Pupils, staff and other adults should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do. They should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).
If anyone in your school develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, you should send them home and they should follow public health advice.
For everyone with symptoms, they should avoid using public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household.
If a pupil is awaiting collection, they should be left in a room on their own if possible and safe to do so. A window should be opened for fresh air ventilation if possible. Appropriate PPE should also be used if close contact is necessary. Further information on this can be found in the use of PPE in education, childcare and children’s social care settings guidance. Any rooms they use should be cleaned after they have left.
The household (including any siblings) should follow the UKHSA stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Close Contacts and Isolation
From 14 December 2021, adults who are fully vaccinated and all children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 are strongly advised to take a LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result. Daily testing of close contacts applies to all contacts who are:
- fully vaccinated adults – people who have had 2 doses of an approved vaccine
- all children and young people aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, regardless of their vaccination status
- people who are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
- people taking part, or have taken part, in an approved clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine
Children under 5 years are exempt from self-isolation and do not need to take part in daily testing of close contacts.
Managing and communicating the risk
Each school will monitor the situation throughout the day of suspected and confirmed COVID cases. They will use the Red, Amber, Green system for classes to indicate which measures should be in place.