Coronavirus briefing update no: 21 Thursday May 28th 2020
We hope you have all been enjoying the glorious summer sunshine…… as much as you can under the prevailing conditions. Here at school we have been putting the finishing touches to our plans for boys coming back over the next two weeks but before going into the details of how this will work, I would like to thank you all for your patience. We are aware that some of you might have liked to have the plan a little earlier, but the reason we haven’t been in touch sooner was to ensure we had the most up to date advice from DfE and NASS, before we sent it out.
Re-opening Week I and Week 2:
So, as we said in our previous briefing update, we will be opening up from Monday 1st June for half of those boys who are returning, and then the week starting Monday 8th for the other half. Thank you for letting us know your intentions so promptly, this has been very helpful in our planning for the next two weeks.
At this point we would like to reiterate that there is absolutely no compulsion for your son to return if you do not feel it is in his or your family’s best interests.
The groups for weeks 1 and 2 have been carefully thought through using a number of criteria including balance of residential and day students, numbers in class groups and social considerations. We are aware that some boys might be slightly disappointed if their friends are not in the same group, but we have done our best and at this point cannot make any alterations to the groups.
Please note we are not able to accommodate any additional students into the Week 1 group at this stage. Should anyone wish to join the Week 2 group who hasn’t already informed us of this please call the school and we will see if this is possible.
Information about whether your son will be returning in Week 1 or Week 2 is being sent out to you in a separate email along with this briefing update.
Start and finish times:
In school: start In school: finish At home: start At home: finish
Monday 10.30 4.10 11.30 3.30
Tuesday 9.00 4.10 9.30 3.30
Wednesday 9.00 4.10 9.30 3.30
Thursday 9.00 4.10 9.30 3.30
Friday 9.00 3.30 9.30 3.30
We ask all parents to keep up to date with information about Covid-19 symptoms and not to return their son to school if they are any member of your household is demonstrating any of them.
For students coming back to school here are 10 ways to keep yourself safe:
1. Wash your hands when:
– you arrive at school
– in between lessons
– in between activities
– before and after eating
– before you go home
– before and after using play equipment
– when you go back to your room on residential
– before and after evening activities
2. If you need to cough and sneeze for any reason, use a tissue and catch it, bin it, kill it.
3. Keep 2 metres apart.
4. Follow the one-way system, using the stickers on the floor.
5. In school, you will have a designated desk, just for you. No one else should use this space and you should not use anyone else’s.
6. Whilst in residential, you should be outside or in your own house only.
7. Your equipment is just for you e.g. laptop, water bottle, pens, please do not share them or take them home.
8. Staff may remind you several times about these rules, please listen as they are there to keep you and others safe.
9. If you start to feel unwell whilst at school, let the adult you are with know as soon as possible.
10. If you are unsure about something, feel worried or have any questions please talk to the adult that you are with.
Boys in school will follow the same online lessons as those who are at home. They will be in a dedicated classroom with the same staff each day forming their own ‘social bubble’. They will also eat in these groups and have their lunch either in the classroom or outside. For those boys who will be doing their lessons from home, there may be some changes in the availability of additional support due to the staff being available to supervise those boys who are here on site.
If boys have been using any school textbooks/resources at home over the past few weeks, it would be extremely helpful if they could bring them in with them to ensure we have enough here for them to work from.
We hope you will feel reassured that we are taking the current situation and government guidance very seriously and as a result of this we will be developing a flexible therapy provision model for the remainder of the summer term. As things stand, therapy will still not be able to be delivered in the usual way following your son’s EHCP.
However, therapy will continue to be available to boys in the following ways: some sessions will continue to be offered remotely, and some may be delivered face to face if deemed safe, e.g. outside. Some may be less frequent, and some may be paused, but please note that all clinical decisions will be made on an individual basis. We will continue to review the way in which therapy is delivered whilst ensuring the safety of the students, clinicians and wider school team. We hope that you understand our decisions at this time and please do feel free to contact any membered of the therapy team with any questions.
Medication: Please can you make sure that if your son is returning to school that he has enough medication for the week.
Personal equipment: All boys will be provided with their own water bottle, which we will help them to clean on a daily basis.
Each boy will have his own laptop which we will help him to clean every day.
Each boy will be given a set of headphones which are compatible with the school’s computers. We are happy for boys to bring their own headphones, but they will need to be compatible with the laptop computers.
School site: In order to meet the requirements of our risk assessment we have had to make a number of changes to the site which we thought would be helpful to share with the boys before they return. Rather than trying to describe these changes we have made a short video outlining the one-way system in school, which you can see by clicking here Link
Track and trace:
We are aware that there is a new national system for tracking and tracing people who have the virus, and we will keep up to date with how this will affect us here. We will provide you with more information once we receive the national guidance on this.
As you are aware, we are not responsible for transport from home to school. However, we are in the process of contacting all Local Authorities to let them know who is returning to school in Week 1 and in Week 2. You may also wish to contact your taxi company to make sure you are happy about the arrangements they are putting in place. We are also aware that some families would like to bring their son back to school themselves, rather than using the taxi. If this is what you would prefer to do please can you let Rachel know firstname.lastname@example.org and also inform your Local Authority.
The school has used all the relevant external guidance as well as our knowledge of the site and our students to collate the following risk assessment. This will be reviewed and updated over the coming days and weeks, in the light of new information being made available to us and/or as we identify unforeseen risks when the boys return. The full risk assessment is being sent out along with this briefing update.
Headlines: Due to the amount of information in this briefing update we thought it might be best if we hold onto our special edition of Headlines until early next week. We very much look forward to sharing this with you as it contains lots of really interesting stories and insights into what people have been doing.
Review and next steps:
As we are all aware, this is a very fluid situation and national guidance and/or our own risk assessment may require us to change course at any point. Please be reassured that we will continue to keep you up to date with what we are thinking and our proposed plans for school life after the first two weeks, i.e. from June 15th onwards.
We hope that all of the above information is helpful to you and reassures you that we are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure the school is a safe and healthy environment to return to.
Wishing you all an enjoyable and sunny weekend and we will be in touch again next week.
Very best wishes to you all,
Kiran, Rob and Rob
Swalcliffe Park School
COVID-19 risk assessment for return to school on the 1st June 2020
This risk assessment should be used in the context of the most up to date government, NASS, and DfE guidance as of (28th May 2020)
Students will continue to receive the online curriculum offer regardless of being in school or at home.
Transmission of virus between school staff / students
adults/children outside of the school.
Contraction of the Virus and becoming seriously or fatally ill.
The school will continuously use available government and NASS guidance to update this risk assessment and amend approach if necessary. The management team will meet daily to assess safety and issues which have arisen.
Staff and students will be risk assessed for vulnerability to the virus and in the case of the students, and their ability to comply with this risk assessment.
Reduced numbers: of students and staff to maintain a safe working and learning environment. In the first instance, this will be a up to a maximum of 50% of the school population (offer for around 27 students at any time). This will reduce class sizes to no more than three students per class with one member of staff.
Houses will have no more than four students with two members of staff.
Staff will greet students on arrival and ask them to wash their hands. They will be taken to the learning space. Students/ staff will not move from classroom to classroom or house to house. Movement in the residential buildings and education block will be kept to a minimum.
Social distancing: A distance of 2 metres will be maintained at all times (unless an emergency requires us to become closer). The school has made every effort to mark areas, provide safe spaces and signage to achieve this. These have been set up by the management team.
Visual indicators have been put in place, with a one-way system put in place though the education block and main house corridor.
Staff and students will be reminded of social distancing and risk assessment rules at the start of every day.
New Covid19 safe room and area configuration should not be changed or modified without consultation with SLT/Management teams.
Meetings: All meetings should be carried out on MS Teams in order to remove the need for staff and/or students to gather together in rooms.
Outdoor learning & eating: Where possible and if practicable activities should be held outside where social distancing can be increased and viral contamination/transmission is much less likely.
A hand sanitizing station has been set up near the play equipment.
Health Checks: Any staff member or student who have one of the government’s identified symptoms will be asked to return home. Students will remain in the isolation room until arrangements can be made for this.
This information will be passed to Public Health England for tracking and tracing.
It is essential that if student/ parents or staff come into contact with a person with symptoms this should be reported immediately.
We will set up 5 isolation rooms where students and staff who are suspected of being infected with the virus will be asked to remain until they can be collected school or other arrangements can be made. This room will be for this exclusive purpose. After use this room will be left for at least 72 hours prior to cleaning. The rooms will be clearly labelled with its status.
In the event of a confirmed case: If any student, staff or visitor to the school is suspected of having the virus we will notify all staff, parents and anyone who has visited the site of this situation. We will advise anyone who has been in contact with the suspected person to be tested and self-isolate. In this instance school will temporarily close until advice had been taken.
PPE: Required items (gloves and face masks) will be available to staff in the event of closer contact with young people being essential i.e. First aid
Transport: The school will not be transporting young people/staff anywhere unless absolutely necessary, i.e. Medical emergency. There will be no offsite trips or activities.
Cleaning: The domestic team will be re-tasked to clean student/staff areas regularly during the school day—steam cleaning and disinfecting. This will include the use of steam cleaning.
Handwashing: Students and staff will be asked to wash hands at regular intervals during the day. Wipes and hand sanitiser gel will be available in all rooms.
Specific sanitiser stations have been put in place throughout the school, residential and administration buildings.
Coughs and sneezing: Students and staff reminded about the risk from bodily effluvia. Boxes of tissues and bins will be put in place in every room.
Furniture and equipment: Staff and student will use the same equipment each day e.g. desk, chair, headphones, pens, pencils, computers etc. will not be shared.
Sleeping in: Staff sleeping areas will be rotated and deep cleaned after use.
All food: will be delivered to students and staff in the rooms they are based in. Students will be issued with a drinking bottle to avoid the use of single use plastic and washing cups. These will be dishwasher cleaned at the end of each day.
Visitors: Only essential visitors will be permitted on site. They will follow this risk assessment. Taxi drivers/parents collecting students will be given instructions on where to park and must not leave their cars. Contractors have access to Coach House toilet. No facilities are available for other visitors.
Home contact: Parents/staff will be contacted regularly and will be asked to provide information on any symptoms within their household. We expect families to inform us if their child or any member of their household has government recognised covid-19 symptoms.
In this situation, health and safety is the responsibility of staff, students and parents. It is essential to share concerns, symptoms and incidents where risk is possible and may not be in the wording or spirit of this risk assessment.
Staff and parents know their own situation and must use their judgment in returning to school/work or seek advice.
The school will respond to health and safety breaches and failure to comply with this risk assessment.
• Emergency evacuation plan
• Emergency lockdown and other emergency policies and plans will remain the same.
DfE Guidance 19/05/20
Effective infection protection and control
There are important actions that children and young people, their parents and those who work with them can take during the coronavirus outbreak, to help prevent the spread of the virus.
In all education, childcare and social care settings, preventing the spread of coronavirus involves dealing with direct transmission (for instance, when in close contact with those sneezing and coughing) and indirect transmission (via touching contaminated surfaces). A range of approaches and actions should be employed to do this. These can be seen as a hierarchy of controls that, when implemented, creates an inherently safer system, where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. These include:
• minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend childcare settings, schools or colleges
• cleaning hands more often than usual – wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered
• ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
• cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach
• minimising contact and mixing by altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as classroom layout) and timetables (such as staggered break times)
Personal protective equipment (PPE) including face coverings and face masks
Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended. Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in some shops. This does not apply to schools or other education settings. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus. Face coverings (or any form of medical mask where instructed to be used for specific clinical reasons) should not be worn in any circumstance by those who may not be able to handle them as directed (for example, young children, or those with special educational needs or disabilities) as it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission.
The majority of staff in education settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases including:
• children, young people and students whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs should continue to receive their care in the same way
• if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while in their setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home. A fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn
Education, childcare and children’s social care settings and providers should use their local supply chains to obtain PPE. Where this is not possible, and there is unmet urgent need for PPE in order to operate safely, they may approach their nearest local resilience forum.
Read the guidance on safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care for more information about preventing and controlling infection, including the use of PPE.
Class or group sizes
We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and schools, we are taking this into account. Schools should therefore work through the hierarchy of measures set out above:
• avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
• frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
• regular cleaning of settings
• minimising contact and mixing
It is still important to reduce contact between people as much as possible, and we can achieve that and reduce transmission risk by ensuring children, young people and staff where possible, only mix in a small, consistent group and that small group stays away from other people and groups.
Public Health England (PHE) is clear that if early years settings, schools and colleges do this, and crucially if they are also applying regular hand cleaning, hygiene and cleaning measures and handling potential cases of the virus as per the advice, then the risk of transmission will be lowered.
Where settings can keep children and young people in those small groups 2 metres away from each other, they should do so. While in general groups should be kept apart, brief, transitory contact, such as passing in a corridor, is low risk.
For primary schools, classes should normally be split in half, with no more than 15 pupils per small group and one teacher (and, if needed, a teaching assistant). If there are any shortages of teachers, then teaching assistants can be allocated to lead a group, working under the direction of a teacher. Vulnerable children and children of critical workers in other year groups should also be split into small groups of no more than 15. Desks should be spaced as far apart as possible.
For secondary schools and colleges, the same principle of halving classes will normally apply. It is also sensible to rearrange classrooms and workshops with sitting positions 2 metres apart. Where very small classes might result from halving, it would be acceptable to have more than half in a class, provided the space has been rearranged. Again, support staff may be drawn on in the event there are teacher shortages, working under the direction of other teachers in the setting.