Covid-19 Framework and Outbreak Management Plan
for the Summer Term 2022
The purpose of this document is to provide parents/guardians, students and staff with information regarding the measures adopted by the School in light of the government’s ‘living with COVID-19’ strategy. This document also explains some of the additional measures that may be stepped-up in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the school community. This document therefore also acts as the Outbreak Management Plan. There will no longer be a separate COVID-19 risk assessment.
Specific guidance on the management of COVID-19 in schools has been withdrawn by the Department of Education as part of the government’s ‘living with Covid’ strategy. These procedures are primarily based on the guidance issued by the government “Reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace” (published 1 April 2022).
OUTBREAK MANAGEMENT PLAN
In this plan, where relevant, additional steps that could be implemented to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 have been identified. These are identified as “OUTBREAK MANAGEMENT MEASURES”. It might become necessary to consider implementing these (either totally or partially) if there is a significant outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
The additional measures may only need to be in place for limited amount of time after which they could be stepped down. The additional measures may also only need to be introduced for certain groups within the school.
These measures are relevant to all members of the school community – staff, students and parents/guardians.
1. GUIDANCE FOR STAFF AND STUDENTS WITH SYMPTOMS OF RESPIRATORY INFECTION, INCLUDING COVID-19
• Staff: If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, do not come into school, as would be the case with any illness, stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you no longer feel unwell. There is no longer a requirement to take a COVID-19 test. Staff can return to school and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend. Staff should follow the normal sickness protocol of emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and their line manager in the event of being absent from school.
• Students: Students with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend school. Students who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. Students are no longer required to take a COVID-19 test. They can return to school and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend. As is normal, parents should inform the school if their child is absent from school.
• If any students develop COVID-19 symptoms while at school, they should report to Health and Wellbeing Centre as soon as possible. If any staff members develop COVID-19 symptoms, they should go home, ensuring that they inform their line manager or either of the Deputy Heads.
2. GUIDANCE FOR PEOPLE WITH A POSITIVE TEST RESULT FOR COVID-19
• Staff: If a member of staff does take a COVID-19 test and it is positive, then the government advice is as follows: ‘If you have a positive COVID-19 test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19 even if you do not have any symptoms. You can pass on the infection to others, even if you have no symptoms. Many people with COVID-19 will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days. If you have a positive COVID-19 test result, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after the day you took your test.’ At the end of this period, if staff continue to have a high temperature or feel unwell, they should remain at home until there is no longer a high temperature and staff feel well enough to resume normal activities.
• Students: It is not recommended that children and young people are tested for COVID-19 unless directed to by a health professional. If a student does take a COVID-19 test and it is positive, then the government advice is as follows: ‘If a child or young person has a positive COVID-19 test result they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test, if they can.’ After 3 days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature, pupils can return to school.
• Staff and students who may be a close contact of someone with COVID-19 are not required to isolate and they may attend school. Staff and students who may be in a household with a confirmed case of COVID-19 can also continue to attend school.
3. ENSURING GOOD HYGIENE FOR EVERYONE
• Students and staff should all clean their hands thoroughly more often than usual.
• Everyone should wash their hands before leaving home and on arrival at school and after before eating/drinking, using the toilet, sports activities, using public transport and after coughing or sneezing.
• We should not touch our face (eyes, mouth, nose) with hands that are not clean.
• Wash with liquid soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Hand cleansers/gels can be used if soap and water are not available. You will notice that there are hand sanitiser stations at the entrance to every building.
• Good respiratory hygiene will be ensured by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach around the school.
4. KEEP OCCUPIED SPACES WELL VENTILATED
• The classrooms in the school are well-ventilated and have opening windows. However, there are some smaller meeting rooms where good ventilation is not so easy to achieve.
• Staff should consider the need to keep classrooms well-ventilated during lessons by leaving windows open. It may also be necessary to leave doors open. The need for good ventilation should take priority over the need to maintain a comfortable temperature in the room.
• Staff should keep their offices well-ventilated by keeping windows or doors open. Face to face meetings should be kept short or with minimal attendees if they cannot be held in well-ventilated spaces.
5. FACE COVERINGS
Face coverings are no longer advised for students, staff and visitors in classrooms or communal areas.
It remains the case that staff and students may wear a face covering if they wish to do so.
OUTBREAK MANAGEMENT MEASURE: In response to an outbreak, it may be necessary to make the wearing of face coverings mandatory again for all students, staff and visitors unless they are exempt. Depending on the seriousness of the outbreak, it may be that the wearing of face coverings is limited to crowded indoor areas such as corridors. However, if necessary, face coverings may need to be worn in classrooms too. Any decision to change the School’s policy on wearing face coverings following an outbreak, would likely be taken in consultation with the local health authority.
It is no longer necessary to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’).
OUTBREAK MANAGEMENT MEASURE: As part of the School’s Outbreak Management Plan, it may be necessary to introduce bubbles to reduce mixing between groups. This may include:
• Reduced size assemblies or Zoom assemblies
• Social distancing measures for staff and bubbles.
• The use of face coverings in communal areas and/or classrooms.
• Lunch served and sat in bubble groups.
• Break time areas designated for separate bubbles.
• Sanitising desks before each class.
• Activities Clubs operating in contact cluster groups.
• Increased safety measures in sport, such as sanitising equipment and a reduction or loss of matches against other schools.
• Boarding house bubbles re-introduced.
This Framework will be reviewed ahead of the Autumn Term 2022, or earlier in the event of an outbreak leading to local or national restrictions needing to be reintroduced.
Mr RJ Pavis