COVID-19 Risk Assessment
This ‘protective measures’ risk assessment is based on the template from Surrey County Council (May 2020) for mainstream schools that was prepared in response to the Government’s phased return plans.
Prior’s Field has used this template to support planning for its wider re-opening in the Summer Term 2020, alongside Government guidance including:
The risk assessment was completed by the Head, Tracy Kirnig; the Bursar, Helen Edwardson; the Deputy Head, Andrew Taylor and the Deputy Head (Academic), Karen Wilcock, on 10 June 2020. The document has been reviewed with the Designated Health & Safety Governor, Mark Evans and was shared with Governors, staff and parents on 12 June 2020. It will be subject to regular review in line with changing Government regulation updates.
Risk A: Awareness of and adherence to policies and procedures
- All staff are aware of policies and procedures including, but not limited to, Health and Safety Policy, Infection Control Policy, First Aid Policy, Safeguarding and Behaviour Policy, all of which have been updated in light of COVID-19 advice received from the Government and other sources;
- All staff and pupils are aware of revised registration procedures to ensure that the school is informed of all individuals on site for health and safety purposes;
- All pupils are aware of the new procedures and reminded at the start of every day. Signage is also displayed around the school site.
- Parents are made aware of the new procedures for infection control in relation to the Coronavirus via letters and emails. They are aware that they must not send their child to school if their child develops Coronavirus symptoms or if another member of their household develops Coronavirus symptoms. In both these circumstances the parents/carers should call the school to inform the school of this and confirm that they will be following Government self-isolation guidance.
- Pupils are made aware of the school’s infectious control procedures in relation to Coronavirus and are informed that they must tell a member of staff if they begin to feel unwell.
- Staff and pupil confidentiality is followed at all times – this includes withholding the names of staff and pupils with either confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus.
- The relevant staff receive any necessary training that helps minimise the spread of infection;
- The school keeps up-to-date with advice issued by, but not limited to, the following: DfE; NHS; Department of Health and Social Care; PHE.
Risk B: Implementing social distancing
- Total number of pupils in school each day follows DfE guidelines: 25% of total roll in years 10 and 12. As per DfE guidance, the school has avoided using split-day rotas for pupil timetables;
- No pupils in other year groups are invited back at this time, beyond the vulnerable children and children of key workers who have always be eligible to attend;
- Small class groups are organised as described in DfE guidelines, with a maximum 16 pupils in each group;
- Classrooms and other learning environments are organised to maintain 2 metres between seats and desks/tables/work stations;
- The timetable is revised to implement where possible:
- Lesson timetables and classroom allocations are planned to limit movement between areas;
- Lessons or activities take place outdoors where possible. However, in most cases, in secondary school it is not conducive to effective teaching and learning to hold lessons outdoors;
- Breaks and lunches will take place in classroom bases. There is no need to stagger timings in order to maintain social distancing due to maximum pupil numbers in the year groups returning to school (a maximum of 24 pupils daily);
- There is no need to stagger timings for drop-off and collection of pupils due to numbers of pupils returning to school;
- Parents’ drop-off and pick-up protocols are planned so that they minimise adult to adult contact. Parents must remain in their vehicles and drop off their child who will walk into their designated entrance adhering to social distancing rules. Parents will not accompany their child into the school buildings and should depart from the site promptly;
- Small groups of pupils are together throughout the day and avoid mixing with larger groups of pupils. Year groups remain separate;
- Unnecessary items are removed from classrooms and other learning environments where there is space to store it elsewhere;
- Soft furnishings, items and equipment that are hard to clean (such as items with intricate parts) are removed;
- Cohorts remain together where timetabled, and different year groups are not mixed during the day. The DfE’s secondary guidance allows for specialist teaching across the week;
- Pupils are based in one classroom throughout the day and are seated at the same desk in that room for the day, although they will leave this room for specialist teaching which will take place in specialist bases as per DfE secondary school guidance. There will be a thorough cleaning of all rooms used at the end of the day.
- Mixing within the school is minimised by:
- Accessing rooms directly from outside where possible;
- A one-way circulation is in place with markings showing the direction of circulation to keep groups apart as they move through the school;
- Assemblies are delivered online;
- Pupils’ lunch and snacks are delivered to their classroom base, and pupils will eat in that room or outside to minimise contact with others;
- The number of pupils using the toilet at any one time is limited;
- The use of shared space such as halls is limited and there is cleaning between use by different groups;
- The use of staff rooms and offices is staggered to limit occupancy.
- The school office remains closed and parents and pupils should contact the office by email or phone.
Risk C: Hygiene practice
- The Government guidance is followed: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings
- Sufficient handwashing facilities are available.
- Hand sanitiser is provided in classrooms and other learning environments;
- Bar soap is not used, in line with the Infection Control Policy – liquid soap dispensers are installed and used instead.
- All adults and children are told and reminded to:
- frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly;
- wash their hands on arrival at school, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing;
- are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose;
- use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’);
- Posters are displayed throughout the school reminding pupils to wash their hands, including signs in all pupil and staff toilets.
- Pupils wash their hands with soap before and after break times and lunchtimes for no less than 20 seconds.
- Wipes are provided in all staff and pupil toilets, with signage instructing individuals to wipe any taps or surfaces after use and place the used wipe in bins;
- Classrooms use bins with lids and these are emptied throughout the day;
- Cleaners are employed by the school to carry out daily, thorough cleaning that follows national guidance and is compliant with the COSHH guidelines and the Health and Safety Policy.
- Additional cleaning is carried out by members of the cleaning team throughout the day.
- Surfaces that pupils and staff are touching, such doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, bannisters are cleaned more regularly than normal by the cleaning team;
- Pupils are advised to bring their own stationery and laptop/tablet into school. Laptops/tablets should be fully charged, and power packs as needed. Therefore the use of shared resources such as stationery and other equipment is limited and disinfected where not possible to avoid; Books, paper etc are not to be brought into school;
- The amount of shared resources that are taken and brought in from home is limited;
- Pupils bring will bring their own, named water bottle into school daily, which will not be shared. To reduce the need to refill bottles (and thereby reduce the need to touch taps) pupils should bring a large bottle or 2 smaller bottles;
- If a pupil has an Epipen or inhaler, they must bring this into school with them. Staff have access to the Emergency Medicines list;
- Pupils wear easily washable items of their own clothing (not school uniform), which is washed every night after school. Items of clothing such as jackets, which need specialist or infrequent washing, are not worn.
- Pupils should take home all personal belongings at the end of the day, they should not be left in school;
- All spaces are well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units where possible;
- School staff will prop doors open with door wedges, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation;
- Infection control procedures are adhered to as much as possible in accordance with the DfE and PHE guidance.
- The DfE guidance does not recommend wearing a face covering or face mask in schools. Therefore staff and pupils are not required to wear face coverings whilst in school. However, pupils may choose to wear a mask (supplied by the pupil) if they wish. If, staff wish to wear a mask and/or gloves, the school has a supply of these.
- Pupils do not share cutlery, cups or food. Pupils’ lunches will be delivered to their classroom base in named, disposable packaging, and consumed in that classroom or outdoors, packaging is disposed of in lidded bins;
- All utensils, if used, are thoroughly cleaned before and after use.
Risk D: Ill Health
- Staff are informed of the symptoms of possible coronavirus infection, e.g. a cough, difficulty in breathing and high temperature, and are kept up-to-date with national guidance about the signs, symptoms and transmission of coronavirus.
- Parents must complete an online Health Declaration Form before their child returns to school, and must adhere to the guidance therein;
- In the Health Declaration form, parents agree to take their daughter’s temperature each day that she attends school. If the pupil’s temperature exceeds 37.5 degrees or she is displaying symptoms associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19), parents agree (via this form) that they will not bring her into school;
- Any pupil who displays signs of being unwell is immediately referred to the designated member of staff/school nurse is moved to a designated room (Room 79, by the school office) whilst they wait for their parent to collect them.
- If a pupil 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 pupil is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult.
- Staff with First Aid training will be present in school when pupils return, the school nurse may be present
- Pupils with Coronavirus symptoms do not come into contact with other pupils and as few staff as possible, whilst ensuring the pupil is safe.
- The parents of an unwell pupil are informed by the designated member of staff/school nurse as soon as possible.
- If the school is unable to contact the parents then the pupil stays at school until the parent arrives to collect them.
- The designated member of staff/school nurse calls for emergency assistance immediately if the pupil’s symptoms worsen.
- The designated room is thoroughly cleaned once vacated by an ill pupil(s).
- If an unwell pupil is waiting to go home, they are instructed to use the staff/visitor toilet opposite the main school reception. To minimise risk of infection, that toilet will not be used again afterwards, until it has been thoroughly cleaned.
- Any medication to ease the unwell pupil’s symptoms, e.g. paracetamol, is administered in line with the First Aid Policy. Where possible staff administer medication from the side of the child, or wearing a face covering.
Risk E: Spread of infection
- Spillages of bodily fluids, e.g. respiratory and nasal discharges, are cleaned up immediately in line with Government guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings
- Pupils are instructed to cough or sneeze into their elbow and use a tissue to cover their mouths where possible, disposing of the tissue in the lidded bins in classrooms;
- Pupils clean their hands after they have coughed or sneezed;
- Pupils queue 2 metres apart at entrances and exits to avoid risks of transmission;
- Pupils follow social distancing measures in school (as above) to avoid risks of transmission;
- Parents are informed via letter, and they agree in the online Health Declaration form not to bring their children to school or on the school premises if they show signs of being unwell and believe they have been exposed to Coronavirus;
- If a pupils has displayed symptoms of Coronavirus, or a member of their household has symptoms, they must self-isolate as per Government guidelines before returning to school.
Risk F: Management of infectious diseases
- Staff are vigilant and report concerns about a pupil’s symptoms to the designated member of staff/school nurse;
- Prior’s Field is consistent in its approach to the management of suspected and confirmed cases of Coronavirus (as above);
- Social distancing measures are implemented as much as possible;
- There are plans in place for the movement of pupils and staff around the school (as above);
- There are plans in place for the movement of parents at drop off and pick up (as above);
- Breaks and lunches will take place in classroom bases. There is no need to stagger timings in order to maintain social distancing due to maximum pupil numbers in the year groups returning to school (maximum of 24 pupils daily);
- The Estate and Facilities Manager monitors the cleaning standards of school cleaners and discusses any additional measures required with regards to managing the spread of Coronavirus;
- Pupils wear easily washable items of their own clothing (not school uniform), which is washed every night after school. Items of clothing such as jackets, which need specialist or infrequent washing, are not worn;
- Staff wear easily washable clothes. Items of clothing such as jackets, which need specialist or infrequent washing, are not worn;
Risk G: Parental Engagement
- Parents are told that they must not exit their vehicles at drop off and pick up. Parents will not accompany their child into the school buildings and should depart from the site promptly;
- Parents are told that they cannot gather at entrance gates or doors, or enter the site (unless they have a pre-arranged appointment, which should be conducted safely);
- Parents are informed about the need to wash their child’s clothing every night and the need to provide their own stationery, water bottle and laptop/tablet (if required), no chargers should be brought in;
- Parents should continue to encourage their child to adhere to the Prior’s Field’s Behaviour Policy, and recognise their responsibility in adhering to social distancing measures;
- Parents must do everything they can to ensure pupils are not mixing socially outside of school. They must observe the same social distancing principles as adults, as far as possible;
Risk H: Communication
- Pupils, parents, carers or any visitors, such as suppliers, are told not to enter the school if they are displaying any symptoms of Coronavirus, following the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection;
- The designated member of staff/school nurse reports immediately to the headteacher about any cases of suspected coronavirus, even if they are unsure;
- The Head contacts the Area Schools Officer immediately about any suspected cases of Coronavirus, even if they are unsure, and discusses if any further action needs to be taken; there is also the option to call the DfE Schools’ helpline if necessary;
- Prior’s Field keeps pupils and parents adequately updated about any changes to infection control procedures as necessary;
- The school informs parents if any changes are needed to the arrangements and provision to ensure the safety of pupils, staff and parents. This will be done with as much notice as possible;
- There is early communication from the school with contractors and suppliers that will support its plans for opening, for example, cleaning, catering and food suppliers.
Risk I: Partial school closure
- Prior’s Field communicates with parents via letter/email regarding any updates to school procedures which are affected by the Coronavirus pandemic;
- Year groups not yet permitted to return (per Government guidance), and pupils who are unable or who do not wish to return to school will continue to be taught remotely;
- The school maintains its plan for pupils’ continued education during partial school closure to ensure there is minimal disruption to pupils’ learning – this includes monitoring pupils’ learning while not in school;
- The Behaviour Policy, Acceptable Use of IT Policy and Staff Code of Conduct are adhered to at all times, even while working remotely;
- The school manages the use of parents’ and pupils’ contact details in line with school policies.
Risk J: Emergencies
- All pupils’ emergency contact details are up-to-date, including alternative emergency contact details, where required.
- Pupils’ parents are contacted as soon as practicable in the event of an emergency.
- Pupils’ alternative contacts are called where their primary emergency contact cannot be contacted.
- The school has an up-to-date First Aid Policy in place which outlines the management of medical emergencies – medical emergencies are managed in line with this policy.
- Should an emergency evacuation of school or lockdown be needed, girls are expected to follow our usual procedures whilst maintaining social distancing. However, they should not compromise their safety if their life is in danger.
Risk K: Managing School Transport
- Parents, children and young people are encouraged to walk or cycle to their education setting where possible;
- Due to social distancing, there will be no home-to-school bus services during the Summer Term 2020.
Risk L: Food
- Lunch will be provided to all pupils attending school. Orders must be placed via an online form (provided to parents by email).
- During lunches and snacks strict social distancing and hygiene standards must be observed (see above).
- No food is brought into school from pupils’ homes, unless arranged with the school in advance.