COVID UPDATE - SUMMER TERM 2021

We have followed the Department for Education (DfE) & Welsh Governmental published guidance to support schools with reopening.

Although the guidance provides flexibility for schools to apply the guidance to their own contexts, it does include a System of Controls, which is the set of actions schools must take.

The checklist below sets out the actions and checks we are taking to ensure that we comply with the guidance in order to remain open.

Health and safety

The guidance (which is endorsed by Public Health sets out a set of actions school and college leaders should take to minimise the risk of transmission.

Steps we are taking:

• Completing health and safety risk assessment; and revise where necessary individual and specific risk assessments.

• Consider the impact on staff and pupils who have protected characteristics, including race and disability.

• Carrying out risk assessments particularly for vulnerable groups (children and adults), to understand the specific risks faced from exposure to Covid-19, and actions which we as employers can take to keep all school users safe. This includes staff returning to work in school, and existing staff who are potentially more at risk due to their race, age, disability or pregnancy.

• Review of our emergency procedures such as Fire Drills to ensure they take into consideration the adaptions being made to support social distancing.

• We will continue with our external site inspections and property management checks.

• Removal of all unnecessary furniture and equipment.

• Updating our procedures for deliveries, contractors and necessary visitors.

• All staff/learners will continue having temperature checks taken upon entry as a proactive measure.

Social distancing and hygiene

Steps we are taking:

• increasing distance between students and, where possible, ensuring all desks are forward facing where possible.

• Promotion of handwashing/use of sanitiser particularly: after coming into school; between lessons; after sneezing and coughing; before and after handling or eating food; and after going to the toilet.

• Ensure that hand washing facilities and sanitisers around the school are frequently used.

• Promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, e.g. by providing tissues, bins, posters.

• Ensure sufficient stock of frequently used items (e.g. stationery) to minimise sharing amongst learners.

• Identify any specific PPE needs and ensure sufficient supply on school site.

• Advise staff to utilise natural ventilation via external doors and windows where possible and safe to do so.

 

Planning arrangements to reduce mixing between groups

Steps we are taking:

• Whilst our classes move around the school we will continue to have a 1 way system in place. We have maintained small groupings & it is important to note that we are only a small provision in comparison to mainstream where bubbles are crucial due to large cohorts.

• Each classroom will have a sanitiser upon the entry. There will also be sanitisers placed around high volume areas around the school. Learners & staff will need to use them as they enter and leave classrooms.

• Staggered arrival & departure times.

• Students will bring in packed lunch and additional classroom/outdoor/dinner room spaces are available for learners to eat.

• One way corridors and pathways where possible to be maintained.

• Move staff meetings to largest rooms/zoom.

• Virtual Parents events for the first term e.g. Open Evening, Parents’ Evenings, etc.

 

Protective measures:

• There is still the need to minimise resources and equipment that learners bring in to school as per guidelines, so please do not encourage your child to bring their own pencil cases, individual stationery packs will be provided in school.

• Use of staggered arrival/departure times and students heading straight to classrooms - the Headteacher & Deputy Head have contacted parents/guardians we will contact again on Tuesday to ensure everyone has received their agreed timetable.

Cleaning

Steps we are taking

• Regular cleaning of areas deep clean end of each day.

• Continued adherence of PHW’s COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance.

• Maintaining the cleaning schedule.

• Maintaining the cleaning log to track cleaning frequency for bathrooms, classrooms and communal areas.

• The removal and safe disposal of rubbish daily.

• Schedule frequent cleaning of resources (e.g. books, specialist equipment) shared within groups.

• Schedule the isolation or cleaning of shared resources (e.g. books, toys).

Workforce

The guidance states that with the relaxation of shielding measures so the full staff team have returned to school site.

Steps we are taking:

• Review of staffing plan so we can redeploy staff to reflect changes to the school’s operation and to support catch-up provision. Note that the guidance advises that staff can operate across different classes and year groups.

• We are adapting timetable from a teaching perspective to allow us to cope with staff absence with minimal disruption.

• Provide communications and mandatory training on cleaning protocols, hygiene practices and social distancing for all staff.

• Communicate other requirements, such as, monitoring of symptoms, what to do if a colleague or pupil is unwell, dedicated first aiders and safeguarding leads, revisions to emergency plans.

• We are considering the wellbeing and welfare of all staff by putting in place measures to check on staff wellbeing. 

• We will make adhere to the ongoing Caretech sickness absence policies to reflect Covid-19 related absences and issues.

• We will regularly review how we handle cases of staff who are subject to any ongoing/pre-existing processes under sickness absence, capability and disciplinary policies.

• Track staff groups differentiating between absence related to Covid-19 and other absences e. those who are unwell, shielding and in self-isolation. Continue with regular reporting of staff absence figures.

• Individual risk plans for all staff especially those who are returning to work from maternity, paternity, adoption leave or long-term sickness absence.

• Ensure that we have in place a robust and comprehensive audit trail of all support provided in cases of staff absence. Review revisions to work plans and risk assessments.

 

Curriculum

The government guidance sets out a number of key expectations for schools and other settings to consider with our school curriculum:

• Teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start but make use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content.

• Aim to return to the school’s normal curriculum in all subjects by summer term 2021.

• Plan on the basis of the educational needs of pupils.

• Develop remote education so that it is integrated into school curriculum planning should it need to be accessed by learners and guardians.

Steps we are taking:

• We are identifying the most important missed content and making use of existing flexibilities to plan how this will be covered

• Plan formative assessment of pupils to inform modifications to the school’s curriculum.

• Identify students most at risk of disengagement/most in need of additional/ alternate support.

• Continue to engage with all placing LAs, agencies and the families of pupils with SEND to devise a plan to provide specific support as needed.

• Continue to ensure individual education plans (IEPs) and EHCPs & Statements are in place and reviewed for each learner who may be at increased risk or has additional needs. We will identify what provision can be reasonably provided for in line with EHCPs & Statements.

Behaviour and attendance

Steps we are taking:

• Continued contact with parents/guardians, explaining what precautions and processes will be in place, mandatory attendance expectations and the reasons why returning to school is important.

• Revise behaviour and attendance policies if necessary to create the right conditions to re-engage pupils in their learning and reintegrate them back into school life.

• Provide additional pastoral and therapeutic services.

• Refresh ‘where to get help’ posters all around school for when learners return and place them in prominent places.

Remote education

The government guidance advises that remote education plans should be in place. Schools are also advised to have a contingency plan in place in the event of an outbreak.

Steps we are taking:

• Refining our contingency plan for remote education provision.

• Implement systems to move to providing remote education where a leaners need to self-isolate, or where there is a local lockdown.

 

Transport

Note that the guidance makes a distinction between dedicated school transport (including statutory provision) and public transport services which are also used by the general public, providing guidance for each scenario.

Steps we are taking:

• Encouraging parents/guardians and learners to walk, cycle or drive to school rather than take public transport.

• Remind parents/guardians and learners still using public transport that face coverings are mandatory for children 11 years+.

• Continue working with the local authority, other local schools and transport providers to consider adjusting start and finish times and/or staggered starts, as mentioned above.

• Continue to work & monitor with home-to-school transport providers to determine appropriate protective measures to take on transport to align with your school’s policies.

 

Planned Procedures to Manage Suspected or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

Steps we are taking:

• Creating step by step documentation providing clarity on the process for dealing with symptomatic staff/learners.

• Familiarity with the guidance relating to the procedure for dealing with a suspected outbreak.

• We have identified the medical room as the room that symptomatic learners will wait in until parents/guardians collect them, we will use signage to designate the room and a process for identifying if it is in use.

We will constantly be reviewing & adapting plans as guidance changes and as we continue to develop & embed processes.

It is really important to note that we have managed to keep school site open safely for learners & staff since April & we will continue to do our upmost to ensure robust measures are maintained.

If you have any questions we are happy to discuss further on 01633 259019

 

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