Are you Ready for the re-opening day?
There is so much to think about for your all, but one moment to double check that safety controls are satisfactory for your staff and pupils.
A few last minute bits of information for you all as you prepare for students and staff to return to school. Hopefully this weather will stay gloriously sunny and you can move classrooms outside. This seems to be the safest place to be right now and I am sure that teaching staff can incorporate the lesson into fantastic learning environments.
Of course the sunscreen will be needed and you may need to contact parents asking them to send in sunscreen supplies for their own children. Try to encourage them to show younger children how to apply this safely. Ask parents to send in sun hats if possible too if you are planning on using outside areas. REMIND staff to make sure that pupils are given plenty of liquids if spending time outside so that no-one gets dehydrated.
Sunscreen on, hats on, water bottles to the ready - all good to go now.
HAND SANITIZER risk assessment
Following on from requests I have produced a risk assessment relating to using Alcohol-based hand gel in schools - attached above the picture for download. Of course the best way to keep germs at bay is to wash hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds and to keep surfaces clean. The Hand gel is a substitution to be used if the above cannot be achieved.
Overuse of alcohol-based hand sanitizer can result in dry skin and aggravate existing skin conditions (and some allergies), so please do use sparingly and only when necessary. Children may be under the impression that this is the best way to prevent catching the virus, so please make sure staff have read the risk assessment and can pass on the relevant information to pupils.
Individual Risk assessments for staff
Another request that has been landing in my email box over the last few weeks, relates to carrying out risk assessments for vulnerable staff members.
The government have updated the guidance for those who have been shielding during the past 10 weeks taking into account that the COVID-19 disease levels are much lower now. However, this does not mean that the threat has gone away and for a number of people the strict social distancing rules must be maintained.
There are two levels of risk to be considered. The first is the High Risk of clinically extremely vulnerable people who may include:
People who have had a solid organ transplant
People with specific cancers (and at different stages of treatment)
People with sever respiritory conditions
People with rare diseased the increase risk of infections
People on immunosuppression therapies
Women who are pregnant with significant diseases (i.e. heart problems)
Other people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable based on clinical judgement.
More information on any of these classifications is available on the NHS Digital website. The government has advised that anyone within the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group do not return to work at the current time. They should be able to supply you with a letter from the NHS and/or GP.
The second group are people at Moderate Risk and include:
Those aged 70 and older
People with lung conditions and heart disease
People with diabetes
Those with chronic kidney disease and liver disease (ie. hepititis)
Those suffering from conditions affecting the brain or nerves (Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerabral palsy)
People who are at greater risk of getting infections
Those taking medicine that can affect immune system (i.e. low doses of steroids)
Those classed as very obese (a BMI or 40 or above).
For staff who are classed at moderate risk, it is important to still follow advice on social distancing. The risk assessment template found here can easily be adapted for any of your staff who need individual support at this time.
I know that every Head Teacher is doing their very best to make the school a safe environment during the slow return to school in the next few weeks. If you need any further advice, don't forget to drop me a line - it may be that someone has already asked the question and I am always happy to share the news.
Stay safe everyone.