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The latest DFE document for full reopening of schools is now available:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963541/Schools_coronavirus_operational_guidance.pdf

Here is short summary of the main items:

  • All schools will open again for all pupils from the 8th March. Primaries can open to full capacity from day one.
  • Secondary schools can do a phased return during the first week only, and to allow establishment of testing in schools. Years 10-13 must be given priority to return.
  • Testing for COVID is voluntary but is ‘strongly’ recommended.
  • Testing will be LFT tests twice a week for secondary school children. Once each pupil has received 3 tests in school the pupil/school can then move to the home testing model.
  • No LFT in primary schools.
  • Face masks must be worn by pupils and teachers in secondary schools all the time, except when outside.
  • CEV children should stay at home-further advice will be issued.
  • CEV staff should not attend work and stay at home. They should be paid as if they are at work. Even if CEV staff have been vaccinated the PHE advice is they should stay at home. There will be further advice issued on this subject.
  • Pregnant and Breastfeeding staff (up to 6 months postnatal) should have a risk assessment carried out. Those over 28 weeks pregnant are higher at risk of incapacity should they catch corona.
  • Clinically vulnerable can continue to attend work.
  • School kitchens should be fully open.
  • GCSE and A and AS Level exams will not go ahead this year, all will be on teacher assessment.
  • If a school has two or more cases of coronavirus in 14 days, they must contact PHE for advice.
  • Test and Trace support payments of up to £500 are available as a one off to those working in schools on a low income who would suffer a loss of earnings due to self-isolating. Eligibility criteria.
  • Anyone in school who has had close contact with a positive tested person must be sent home. There is an extensive definition of close contact.
  • Staff testing is not mandatory, should a member of staff test positive using a LFT they must then isolate and follow up with a PCR test.
  • Schools should consider staggered start, finish, and break times for pupils.
  • Pupils are asked to avoid public transport if at all possible.
  • Staffrooms should have defined split areas.
  • There should be no assemblies or large gatherings for worship.
  • Ventilation verses temperature (specific guidance by HSE link in document).
  • Bubbles should be maintained.
  • Detailed advice if a child has a positive LFT.
  • Must not attend school for 10 days if required to self-isolate. Advice given from when the 10 days commences.
  • PHE advice is that the new variants doesn’t alter the system of controls advice.
  • All Risk assessments must be reviewed, updated, and shared with staff and H&S reps.
  • The school must have a plan on how to deal with outbreaks.

 

There are also further documents in respect of early years on the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare

Feb 25, 2021