Schools COVID-19 operational guidance
Updated July 16th 2021
*Purple text indicates additional Elthorne Park High school amendments.
The following guidance outlines changed government guidance and Elthorne Park High school’s operational guidance in relation to COVID-19.
Full government operational guidance for schools in relation to COVID19 can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1002322/Schools_guidance_Step_4_update_for_14_July.pdf
DfE Webinar on Contact Tracing Changes for Parents https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QEPboDASzcI_i2wTfeqAPrbKhlTf74GD/view
The School’s Risk Assessment
The school’s full risk assessment can be viewed here:
Add update risk assessment
The school’s risk assessment and related guidance will be regularly reviewed and updated in line with changes to government and local authority guidance.
The following guidance explains actions that students and staff need to follow at Elthorne Park High school to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)
We use the terms “must” and “should” throughout the guidance. We use the term “must” when the person in question is legally required to do something and “should” when the advice set out should be followed unless there is good reason not to.
Overview from the DfE
As the country moves to Step 4 of the roadmap, the government will continue to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus. This marks a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic, moving away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day-to-day lives, towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk.
As COVID-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, there is now an imperative to reduce the disruption to children 4 and young people’s education - particularly given that the direct clinical risks to children are extremely low, and every adult has been offered a first vaccine and the opportunity for two doses by mid-September.
Our priority is for you to deliver face-to-face, high quality education to all pupils. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health. We have worked closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) to revise this guidance.
Mixing and Year ‘bubbles’
From the start of September 2021 (new term) we will no longer recommend that it is necessary to keep children in consistent Year group bubbles.
At Elthorne Park High school, this means that assemblies can resume as normal. At lunchtimes, we will be retaining Year zones for Year groups simply for organisational reasons, but students will be able to move across zones to access food in their allocated service areas. We will also be removing our staggered start and end to the school day.
Tracing close contacts and isolation
From Step 4, close contacts will be identified via NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.
NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case to identify close contacts. Contacts from a school setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact.
Schools may be contacted in exceptional cases to help with identifying close contacts, as currently happens in managing other infectious diseases.
From 16 August 2021, children under the age of 18 years old will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, children will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test.
We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.
18-year-olds will be treated in the same way as children until 4 months after their 18th birthday, to allow them the opportunity to get fully vaccinated. At which point, they will be subject to the same rules as adults and so if they choose not to get vaccinated, they will need to self-isolate if identified as a close contact.
The government states the following:
From 19 July, face coverings will no longer be advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.
In circumstances where face coverings are recommended:
From 19 July, the government is removing the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don't normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school
At Elthorne Park High school students and staff may continue to wear face masks if they wish to do so during the first half of term.
Face coverings will be required in the event of a localised outbreak of COVID - 19 infections.
No pupil or student will be denied education on the grounds of whether they are, or are not, wearing a face covering.
Stepping Measures Up and Down
Should the school experience an outbreak, management plans outlining how we will operate will be put in place as advised by our local health protection team and DfE.
The school will continue to
1. Ensure good hygiene for everyone.
2. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.
3. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.
4. Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Ensure good hygiene
Frequent and thorough hand cleaning by students should now be regular practice. Students and staff should continue to ensure that pupils clean their hands regularly. This can be done with soap and water or hand sanitiser.
Respiratory hygiene The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important.
- Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes
Students and staff will continue to sanitize, wipe and clean desks at the end of each lesson.
The school has put in place and will maintain an appropriate cleaning schedule. This will include regular cleaning of areas and equipment, with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces.
- Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
We will continue to keep windows open where possible to ensure classrooms and offices are well ventilated.
4. Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
When an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test
Pupils, staff and other adults should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do.
They should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).
If anyone develops COVID-19 symptoms at school, however mild, they will be sent home and they should follow public health advice.
For everyone with symptoms, they should avoid using public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household.
If a pupil is awaiting collection, they will wait in a room on their own close to our welfare. A window should be opened for fresh air ventilation if possible. Any rooms used should be cleaned after they have left.
The household (including any siblings) should follow the PHE stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Asymptomatic testing Testing
Remains important in reducing the risk of transmission of infection within schools. That is why, whilst some measures are relaxed, others will remain, and if necessary, in response to the latest epidemiological data, we all need to be prepared to step measures up or down in future depending on local circumstances.
Over the summer, staff and secondary pupils should continue to test regularly if they are attending settings that remain open, such as summer schools and out of school activities based in school settings.
Schools will only provide tests for twice weekly asymptomatic testing for pupils and staff over the summer period and up to the end of September. (will then be reviewed by the government)
Mass Testing of Students at the Start of Term
As pupils will potentially mix with lots of other people during the summer holidays, all pupils will receive 2 on-site lateral flow device tests, 3 to 5 days apart, on their return in the autumn term.
Pupils will then continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when this will be reviewed.
Staff will undertake twice weekly home tests whenever they are on site until the end of September, when this will also be reviewed.
Confirmatory PCR tests
Staff and pupils with a positive LFD test result should self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
They will also need to get a free PCR test to check if they have COVID19. https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the individual should continue to self-isolate. If the PCR test is taken within 2 days of the positive lateral flow test, and is negative, it overrides the self-test LFD test and the pupil can return to school, as long as the individual doesn’t have COVID-19 symptoms.
Additional information on PCR test kits for schools and further education providers is available. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-test-kits-for-schools-and-fe-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-home-test-kits-for-schools-and-fe-providers
Other considerations - school attendance for CEV children
All CEV children and young people should attend their education setting unless they are one of the very small number of children and young people under paediatric or other specialist care who have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend. Further information is available in the guidance on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions. You should ensure that key contractors are aware of the school’s control measures and ways of working.
School attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age and it is a priority to ensure that as many children as possible regularly attend school.
Where a child is required to self-isolate or quarantine because of COVID-19 in accordance with relevant legislation or guidance published by PHE or the DHSC they will be recorded as code X (not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus).
Where they are unable to attend because they have a confirmed case of COVID-19 they will be recorded as code I (illness).
Not all people with COVID-19 have symptoms.
Teachers will support students who have to self isolate by setting work remotely using Show My Homework. The remote education provided will be the equivalent in length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school.
We will continue to provide free school meal support to any pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals and who are learning at home during term time.
The government continues to recommend that schools do not run international visits before the start of the autumn term 2021.
From the start of the new school term international visits can take place.
Parents and staff should be aware that the travel list (and broader international travel policy) is subject to change and green list countries may be moved into amber or red.
Wraparound provision and extra-curricular activity
Extracurricular activities will run from September 2021 subject to risk assessment guidance being followed.
More information on planning extra-curricular provision can be found in the guidance:
Other Changes at Elthorne Park High School in Relation to COVID19 Step 4
Room Occupancy & Staffeetings
There will no longer be restrictions placed on the number of staff or students in learning rooms or offices.
Year assemblies will run as normal in our main hall C101 and D block main canteen.
Desk Arrangements in Classrooms
Staff are no longer required to organise their desks in lines.
Staff are required to use edulink to create seating plans for all classes - these may be required to support external NHS track and trace enquiries.
Students will continue to be allowed to continue to come in PE kit on the days they have PE but uniform expectations will be strictly enforced. Reminder of EPHS PE Uniform:
Top half - white EPHS T shirt and/or EPHS PE top
Bottom half - Shorts/skirt/skort/tracksuit bottoms, skin tight cycling shorts/sports leggings must be worn WITH shorts/skirt. All items must be Black (logos allowed)
When students attend internal, mock and public examinations they must attend in full school uniform.