Post COVID-19 End of Term Guidance Information for all phases
We are all looking forward to the next step in the Governments road map out of the current pandemic. June 21st marks the start of restrictions being lifted. Although the pandemic will not be over, we will all learn to manage and live with COVID-19 in a new way.
It is advised that schools consider the mental health and well-being of children, young people and staff when considering transition arrangements. Schools may choose a more cautious approach based on their own risk assessments. For example, whilst releasing all restrictions when current routines are well embedded might seem to be the best option, we do need to remember that should another wave occur or a new variant increases case numbers significantly, we may need to revert back to current routines. This could impact on the mental health of our children, young people and staff.
Officially, we will be in the final stage of the road map. Parents and Carers may see this a cue to revert back to “normal” and may be expecting schools to do the same. It is advisable to start informing parents now of what June 21st onwards may look like, particularly if you are planning a cautious approach.
Below are some good practice suggestions to aid schools to plan their end of term:
- This is a long-standing tradition in many schools. You may wish to consider having phase or year group sports days. This will enable you to safely manage the amount of adults and social distancing.
- You may choose to keep bubbles for the remainder for the remaining half term as the children are used to the routine and organisation. You may want to merge some year groups if that will aid staffing for wraparound care for example.
Hands, face, space
- Again, if you are gradually opening up bubbles, it is advisable to keep to the hand washing and hygiene routines already established.
- These can go ahead in line with DFE guidance, as long as thorough risk assessments from the school and venue are in place. You will need to consider travel arrangements, particularly if you are not planning to mix bubbles. The guidance advises keeping bubbles as small as possible and apart. Ideally, bubbles should travel separately, but if on the same bus, they need to be kept as separate as possible. If traveling together by bus, consider separating bubbles by a few rows.
LFT and PCR tests
- It is good practice to continue these and encourage everyone to keep this up. Some families may not want to know if they have the virus, particularly if they are planning to go away. However, they will need a negative test to travel abroad in any instance. LFTs should still be taken twice weekly by staff and pupils. If pupils are symptomatic, we recommend PCR testing.
End of Term Performances
- This is commonplace in most secondary and primary schools. These can still go ahead but you may choose to record this and send to parents and carers. Outside productions may also be considered. Again, it is about safely managing the adults on site and adhering to COVID-19 secure measures. Consider keeping a log of all attendees at these events. You can also go a step further with seating charts which will help with contact tracing, if needed.
End of term visits
- This may take place as long as risk assessment, travel arrangements and all necessary precautions are taken.
Good hygiene will remain key to preventing further outbreaks. Here are the cleaning reminders from Public Health England
Areas to Prioritise for Disinfection
- Door and window handles • Touch screen devices
- Desks • Shared Telephones
- Sports equipment • Remote controls
- Toys • Light switches
- Playgrounds • Stair banisters
- Intercom buttons • Countertops
- Computer keyboards • Bathroom surfaces
- Printers, photocopiers, scanners etc • Toilets and taps
While there is a significant reduction in virus survival on surfaces after 48 hours, viruses may survive on some surfaces up to 72 hours. We recommend a two-stage physical clean - i.e. use of detergent followed by disinfectant, or a good clean using a combined product. Fogging can be used for cleaning but must be in addition to physical clean.
Utilise one of the following methods:
- A combined detergent/disinfectant solution giving 1000 ppm (0.1%) of available chlorine.
- A separate detergent followed by a disinfectant solution giving 1000 ppm (0.1%) available chlorine e.g: Milton disinfectant/tablets.
- An alternative sanitiser effective against enveloped viruses and tested to BS EN 14476.
We recommend a two-stage physical clean - i.e. use of detergent followed by disinfectant, or a good clean using a combined product. Fogging can be used for cleaning but must be in addition to physical clean.
Ensure adequate ventilation and increase airflow where possible to all occupied spaces on visits. To help with this, consider opening windows and doors – where it is safe to do so.
Please remember you know your school and you know your community. The advice given is to enable you to make informed choices. There have been further variant outbreaks, to keep these under control, you may feel a more cautious and measured approach is appropriate. Please ensure you communicate to parents and carers and encourage them to follow whatever measures your school puts in place.
Below is some suggested correspondence from PHE regarding holidays and travel.
Brief Holiday Travel Guidance for Education Settings
Dear Head Teachers, Parents and Carers,
With holiday season upon us, we wanted to provide a brief summary of some travel related information that will be important in all education settings.
The government has provided detailed instructions and regular updates related to travel guidance for staff, parents and carers to adhere to for traveling outside of the UK. The onus is on us all to ensure that we are following government guidance in the interest of safety for everyone at school. We encourage parents to inform education settings of travel, though this is not a requirement.
The government has provided Red, Amber and Green Lists of Countries. These lists are regularly updated and can be checked using the below link for current information.
Red List Countries – Pupils/Staff should not travel to red list countries. Pupils/Staff returning from red list destinations will be quarantined in a managed hotel for the duration of their isolation period.
Amber List Countries – Pupils/Staff should not travel to amber list countries. Pupils/Staff returning from amber list destinations will be required to isolate at home for 10 days, unless they opt to do a day 5 test to release. In the case of a test to release, though not advised, pupils/staff will be allowed to attend school after receiving a negative test result but will still be required to take a PCR test on or after day 8. Please note that some countries on this list are for essential travel only.
Green List Countries – Pupils/Staff returning from green list countries will be required to take a PCR test on or before day 2 after they arrive into the UK. They do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.
Pupils ages four and under do not need to take a PCR test on arrival into the UK and will not be required to take day 2 and day 8 tests.
A link to step by step guidance:
This guidance is subject to change in line with government guidance.
Prepared on May 25, 2021.
Attendance coding information will come out separately.