Education Planning Group: Covid - Visitors to school

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In today's update:


dan barton

Dear Colleagues

Further to advice circulated last week in relation to transition visits, end of year events and trips, we are today advising schools to review their approach to all school visitors.

This is in response to increasing numbers of schools now experiencing incidents and outbreaks and the associated disruption this causes.

If you have not yet seen it, please note the updated Risk Assessment template from our Health and Safety team.

We are continuing to monitor the situation carefully and will provide further advice if required.

We will provide the usual weekly general update tomorrow.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts.

Yours

Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills


Visitors to schools - NEW advice on 23 June

  • Wherever possible, visits should now move to being virtual until the end of the summer term
  • If a face-to-face visit is deemed essential (e.g. for safeguarding or physical/mental/social health reasons) the visitor should be strongly encouraged to LFT test either the night before or on the morning of the visit (staff doing multiple visits should LFT test at least twice a week)
  • If the child being seen is of secondary school age, their parents should be strongly advised to support the child to do an LFT test the night before, or on the morning of the planned visit
  • When the visit is taking place – all the relevant system of controls should be strictly adhered to where possible (ventilation, face coverings, social distancing, hand cleaning, use of tissues, cleaning etc)

REMINDER: Advice and information previously issued on 16 June

Transition visits 

As we know, transition to the next stage in education represents a significant challenge to us and to our young people each year, and proper face to face transition arrangements are always preferred. This year, in some cases, schools’ own risk assessments may preclude a face to face visit.

We advise:

  • Risk assess and ensure system of controls followed.
  • Face to face visits could continue but only if 2 metres distance is maintained between children from different primary schools (and if this is not possible, carry out virtually).
  • We advise against any activity that mixes bubbles/classes who are not currently mixing. 
  • No parent visits to the school – virtual only.

End of year events 

Again we advise careful risk assessment and ensuring a system of controls is in place.  We advise against any event that mixes bubbles/classes who are not currently mixing. No parent visits to the school.

Residential and day visits 

Educational trips and visits can still go ahead. However, these should be undertaken only when your setting’s risk assessment has been reviewed and appropriate mitigations and controls considered. Unfortunately there is no financial support available to schools if trips have to be cancelled.

We advise:

  • If your setting is in outbreak status, trips should be rearranged.
  • Avoid mixing of bubbles (especially on transport, sleeping arrangements etc) unless robust mitigations can be implemented.
  • Visits to Enhanced Response Areas should be risk assessed very carefully. Current Government guidance is to minimise travel in and out of these areas. In most cases trips to ERAs should be avoided.
  • Parents/carers should collect children if they develop symptoms and cannot be isolated while on trips. If that is not practical, consideration should be given to whether the trip can proceed.

Masks in schools

Local public health advice is now that secondary schools should reinstate the wearing of masks or face coverings by pupils and staff in communal areas or when moving around the school.

Masks are also advised for teachers in classrooms, in primary and secondary.


All over 18s invited to book vaccination

All over 18s can now book an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. It not only provides the best protection against becoming seriously ill if you catch coronavirus, but also cuts household transmission of the virus by up to 50%. So, it's essential everyone accepts their jab when it's offered to them.

You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS, you can book your vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service online or by calling 119 free of charge.