Heads Up 17 July 2020


WE3 Family of schools

Guidance for WCC Staff Visiting Third Party Settings

As settings focus on the government’s expectation of returning to business as usual by September, WCC are keen to ensure that you feel safe and confident as you prepare to resume service delivery. Some services will be ready sooner than others and we know that your team’s risk assessment will have considered how your service can be delivered safely. Settings will want to know how we are going to deliver our services safely too.

The following key messages will apply to any service and will help to reassure settings that our staff are ready to deliver our services effectively within the current constraints, as soon as it is safe to do so:

· Before returning to work in any of our buildings or other third-party settings you will be asked to complete a re-instatement checklist and site re-induction checklist. This will be undertaken virtually with your line manager e.g. through Microsoft Teams or over the telephone. Currently, government advice is to continue working from home where possible.

· Visits to third party settings will be limited and where possible alternatives to these visits should be considered, such as holding meetings remotely.

· Before any visits can be agreed to another setting, for example a school, we will need to request copies of that site’s risk assessment.

· In advance of any visits, make sure you are aware of the latest social distancing guidance, health and safety regulations and public health guidelines. Check the Public Health England website regularly for updates and keep up to date with information from your team or WCC.

· Once a visit has been agreed, you will need to call ahead of each visit to ensure no-one has any COVID related symptoms, if they do, you will need to re-schedule that visit.

· Each setting will have different requirements for social distancing. Make sure you familiarise yourself with and adhere to each setting’s policy on social distancing.

· Make sure you avoid touching equipment, door handles, light switches or key pads as much as possible. If you do need to touch anything, sanitise your hands before and after use and wipe the item after use.

· Make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after eating and after visiting the toilet. Use hand sanitiser as you enter a building and as you leave.

· If you or anyone in your household has symptoms, you must not go into any setting. You must book a test and self-isolate for 7 days. You can resume on site visits once you have received a negative test result and your temperature has been within the normal range for at least 48 hours.

· Gloves will be available to employees if required, however guidance is that they are not necessary if social distancing and regular hand washing are maintained.

· If a safe social distance can be maintained it is not a requirement to wear a mask, but employees can do so if they wish to.

· Employees required to drive work vehicles will be limited to just the driver in the vehicle.

For Staff working in schools or other educational settings:

· National guidance for schools and out of school settings states that children should be taught and supervised in bubbles as far as possible. This means that you may be asked to work with ‘bubbles’ of children which might be different to the normal groupings you would expect.

· It is important that bubbles are maintained to reduce the impact of the virus. If any member of the bubble becomes symptomatic, the bubble can self-isolate without affecting the rest of the school or setting. This is one of two main control systems that the government advises schools and out of school settings to apply.

· The second control measure is social distancing for staff. There is no requirement for individuals to remain 2 metres apart from those in the same bubble. However, the national guidance expects teachers and other staff to maintain 2 metres distance as far as is possible. Failing that, keep 1 metre away from others. If you need to provide individual support, avoid touching equipment as much as possible and do not stay closer than 1 metre to anyone for more than 15 minutes.

· Some settings may have access restrictions due to one-way systems or staggered start and finish times. Please ask the school or setting to give you any relevant information about this and plan your visit to comply with their systems.

· Staggered breaks and lunchtimes in schools or settings might make normal service delivery difficult to accommodate. Check with settings what their arrangements are and work with staff to find solutions where this might be challenging for your service.

· Make sure you know the contact details of someone on site who can help you if there are any issues.

· In advance of any visits, make sure you are aware of the latest social distancing guidance, health and safety regulations and public health guidelines. Check the Public Health England website regularly for updates and keep up to date with information from your team or WCC.

· If you are working in a school, the national guidance states that PPE and face masks are not required, except in exceptional circumstances such as dealing with a child with symptoms or for personal care. It is therefore not a requirement for visitors to wear PPE or face masks whilst on a school site. Special schools may have different requirements, depending on pupils’ needs.

· In some settings, activities are being conducted outside as much as possible. Check whether this is the case before you visit and whether there is an outside space suitable for delivering your service.

· We will reassure settings that you and your teams are preparing thoroughly for restarting service delivery as soon as it is safe to do so.

Thank you for your cooperation as we seek to find creative solutions to the challenges we are all facing.


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