Completed By: Jane Barker
Date Completed: 23/09/2021, Amended 08/01/2022
Review Due Date: Dependent on updated Government guidance / October 2022
This plan is based on the contingency framework for managing local outbreaks of COVID-19, provided by the Department for Education (DfE). We will implement some, or all, of the measures in this plan in response to recommendations provided by our Local Authority (LA), Director of Public Health (DPH), Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection Team or the National Government.
It may be necessary to implement measures and activate this plan in the following circumstances, for example:
- To help manage a COVID-19 outbreak within the school
- Infection rates in the community are extremely high, and other measures have failed to reduce transmission
- As part of a package of measures responding to a ‘variant of concern’ (VoC)
This includes how we would ensure every child, pupil or student receives the quantity and quality of education and care to which they are normally entitled.
The Governments Contingency Framework identifies three principles for outbreak management plans
- Prioritising education
- Roles and responsibilities
The impacts of having missed education during the pandemic are severe for children, young people and adults.
In all cases, any benefits in managing transmission should be weighed against any educational drawbacks. Decision-makers should endeavour to keep any disruptive measures in education and childcare to the minimum number of settings or groups possible, and for the shortest amount of time possible.
Decision-makers (head/CEO etc) should keep all measures under regular review, and following consultation, lift them as soon as the evidence supports doing so.
Measures affecting education and childcare settings across an area should not be considered in isolation, but as part of a broader package of measures. Attendance restrictions should only ever be considered as a last resort.
Where measures include attendance restrictions, the Department for Education (DfE) may advise on any groups that should be prioritised. The government will try to give as much notice as possible of any changes to the way settings should operate. Local Authorities, DPH’s and DfE’s regional school commissioners should maintain close working relationships with DHSC.
These teams are made up of:
- Public Health England (PHE) regional directors
- Contain regional convenors
- Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) regional leads
Where decisions about measures in education and childcare settings are made at a national level, DfE will work with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), JBC, NHS Test and Trace, the Chief Medical Officer, PHE and other government departments, as well as relevant Local Authorities and DPH’s. The government will take into account the available evidence and the judgement of public health professionals.
Roles and responsibilities
Local Authorities, DPH’s and PHE Health Protection Teams (HPTs) are responsible for managing localised outbreaks. They play an important role in providing support and advice to education and childcare settings. Local Authorities, DPH and HPTs can work with their regional partnership teams (RPTs) to escalate issues from the local level into the regional and national command structure.
RPTs support local areas in managing outbreaks and provide advice and insights from across the country to the Chief Medical Officer and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to inform decision making.
Central Government and local partners consider and take decisions on measures on an area-by-area basis in light of all available evidence, public health advice and the local and national context. In rare circumstances, it may be necessary to escalate issues to ministers through other central government committees but this should be by exception only.
(Individual roles within the setting are listed below)
Measures that settings should plan for:
The contingency framework describes the measures that all education and childcare settings should have in their outbreak management plans outlining how they would operate if any of the measures described below were recommended for their setting or area.
This Outbreak Management Plan for Gomersal St Mary’s CE Primary School details our operational intentions in relation to each of the measures identified by the contingency framework and needs to be read in conjunction with the most recent risk assessment for school. We recognise that this is fluid and that educational settings play a vital role in helping their immediate and wider communities come to terms with learning to live with Covid 19.
This plan will be updated as and when government advice changes.
School/Setting Response Options
On activation of this Plan, the school/setting will dynamically consider the implementation of some, or all of the control measures listed below. In the majority of circumstances, decisions about the implementation of some of the control measures will be made by central Government, or local command structures, and not the school/setting.
|Control Measure/Theme||Actions/considerations to implement the measure||Responsible individual(s)|
|Shielding||We will adhere to national guidance on the reintroduction of shielding. We will speak to individuals required to shield about additional protective measures in school or arrangements for home working or learning. |
Additional measures will include use of face masks, returning to bubbles especially for communal areas.
CEV members of staff
|Testing||Promote the local testing facilities (such as Mobile Testing Units (MTU’s) and Asymptomatic Testing Sites (ATS) to the school community. |
Encourage staff to test and report on gov website
Ensure there are tests available to staff in accordance with Gov guidance
Close contacts of positive Covid cases encouraged to test daily for a period of 7 days in line with updated National guidance. Further information can be found in the Schools COVID-19 operational guidance Now reduced to 5.
Even if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are strongly encouraged to take part in LFD testing on-site through ATS or at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection.
** testing is recommended not mandated
|Face Coverings||Children of primary school age and early years children should not be advised to wear face coverings.|
Any guidance should allow for circumstances where people are not able to wear face coverings.
In primary schools and early year settings, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and adults (including visitors) when moving around in corridors and communal areas.
In all cases any educational and wellbeing drawbacks in the recommended use of face coverings should be balanced with the benefits in managing transmission.
|Good Hygiene inc. Hand Washing||Frequent and thorough hand cleaning should now be regular practice. You should continue to ensure that pupils clean their hands regularly. This can be done with soap and water or hand sanitiser.|
Posters provide visual reminders.
|Respiratory hygiene||The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important.|
Bagged bins with lids
|Enhanced Cleaning||Include regular cleaning of areas and equipment (twice per day), with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces.|
Cleaning equipment available.
PHE has published guidance on the cleaning of non-healthcare settings.
|Use of PPE||Most staff in schools will not be required to wear PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work. |
PPE available for working with a symptomatic child.
The guidance on the use of PPE in education, childcare and children’s social care settings provides more information on the use of PPE for COVID-19.
|Managing Suspected Positive Cases||We will follow all guidelines and advice issued by Central Government, Local Authority and Public Health.|
Isolation room allocated in Children's Centre.
|Contact Tracing||We will follow all guidelines and advice issued by Central Government, Local Authority and Public Health|
Settings only needed to do contact tracing up to and including 18 July. Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.
As with positive cases in any other setting, 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. You 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.
Settings will continue to have a role in working with health protection teams in the case of a local outbreak. If there is an outbreak in a setting or if central government offers the area an enhanced response package, a DPH might advise a setting to temporarily reintroduce some control measures.
|Ventilation||When your school is in operation, it is important to ensure it is well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained.|
If possible, systems should be adjusted to full fresh air or, if this is not possible, then systems should be operated as normal as long as they are within a single room and supplemented by an outdoor air supply.
Opening external windows can improve natural ventilation, and in addition, opening internal doors can also assist with creating a throughput of air. If necessary, external opening doors may also be used (if they are not fire doors and where safe to do so).
You should balance the need for increased ventilation while maintaining a comfortable temperature.
Air quality CO2 monitors located around school. These will monitor the quality of air flow in locations where children and staff are working.
The Health and Safety Executive guidance on air conditioning and ventilation during the COVID-19 pandemic and CIBSE COVID-19 advice provides more information.
|Social Distancing and ‘Bubble Management’||We will follow all guidelines and advice issued by Central Government, Local Authority and Public Health|
It is no longer recommended that it is necessary to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’). This means that bubbles will not need to be used from the autumn term (21).
As well as enabling flexibility in curriculum delivery, this means that assemblies can resume, and you no longer need to make alternative arrangements to avoid mixing at lunch.
If necessary ‘bubbles’ may be reintroduced for a temporary period, to reduce mixing between groups.
Any decision to recommend the reintroduction of ‘bubbles’ would not be taken lightly and would need to take account of the detrimental impact they can have on the delivery of education. The decision would be taken alongside guidance from the LA or DfE.
|Remote Education||The school has a remote education policy in place. |
Children who are isolating will be expected to complete the remote learning assuming they are well enough to do so.
If children have tested positive for COVID, they will not be expected to complete the remote learning.
You should work collaboratively with families and put in place reasonable adjustments so that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can successfully access remote education.
Full expectations for remote education, support and resources can be found on the get help with remote education service.
|Attendance restrictions/Remote Education||We will follow all guidelines and advice issued by Central Government, Local Authority and Public Health|
We will switch to remote education for any child not in attendance due to Covid restrictions.
Our Remote Education policy is on the school website.
|Safeguarding||A DSL/Deputy DSL will be onsite wherever possible|
There should be no change to local multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, which remain the responsibility of the 3 safeguarding partners:
1. local authorities
2. clinical commissioning groups
3. chief officers of police
If attendance restrictions are needed in any education or childcare setting, we would expect all local safeguarding partners to be vigilant and responsive to all safeguarding threats with the aim of keeping vulnerable children and young people safe, particularly as more children and young people will be learning remotely.
All settings must continue to have regard to any statutory safeguarding guidance that applies to them, including:
1. Keeping children safe in education
2. Working together to safeguard children
3. Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework - read alongside Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications
Schools (ideally led by the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) or a deputy) should review their child protection policy so that it reflects the local restrictions and remains effective.
It is expected that schools will have a trained DSL (or deputy) available on site. However, it is recognised that for some schools there may be operational challenges to this. In such cases, there are two options to consider:
1. a trained DSL (or deputy) from the school can be available to be contacted via phone or online video, for example working from home
2. sharing trained DSLs (or deputies) with other schools (who should be available to be contacted via phone or online video)
Where a trained DSL (or deputy) is not on site, in addition to one of the above options, a senior leader should take responsibility for co-ordinating safeguarding on site.
|Out of school Activities/Wraparound care||If attendance restrictions are needed, vulnerable children and young people should be allowed to attend. |
Continue to refer to guidance on protective measures for after school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Facilities and activities should reflect any local or national restrictions.
|Education Workforce||Risk assessments will be shared with staff|
Previous risk assessments may need to be reintroduced.
|Vulnerable children and young people||Where vulnerable children and young people are absent, education settings should:|
- follow up with the parent or carer, working with the local authority and social worker (where applicable), to explore the reason for absence and discuss their concerns
- encourage the child or young person to attend educational provision, working with the local authority and social worker (where applicable), particularly where the social worker and the Virtual School Head (where applicable) agrees that the child or young person’s attendance would be appropriate
- focus the discussions on the welfare of the child or young person and ensuring that the child or young person is able to access appropriate education and support while they are at home
- have in place procedures to maintain contact, ensure they are able to access remote education support, as required, and regularly check if they are doing so
If settings have to temporarily stop onsite provision on public health advice, they should discuss alternative arrangements for vulnerable children and young people with the local authority
|Educational Offsite Visits||Educational offsite visits are likely to be suspended if there was to be a further outbreak.|
Any attendance restrictions should be reflected in the visits risk assessment and setting leaders should consider carefully if the educational visit is still appropriate and safe.
Only children who are attending the setting should go on an educational visit.
Education settings should consult the health and safety guidance on educational visits when considering visits
|Communication||School will communicate to families via email and text.|
Staff have a WhatsApp group for emergency communication
|Movement of Individuals Around School (including the start and end of the school day)||One way system introduced to enter and leave the site.|
Staggered breaks and lunchtimes will revert to the previous lockdown procedure.
Packed lunches may eat in the child’s classrooms
|Management of Visitors/Deliveries||Delivery arrivals will be guided into school (as per directions on the school gate)|
Deliveries into school will be through the main entrance (holding area) and contact will be limited between the driver and staff. Only bulk/large orders will be brought directly into main school reception area.
If necessary deliveries will be quarantined.
Visitors will only be allowed on site for exceptional reasons and must be pre-arranged unless there is an emergency situation.
All visitors will be accompanied by a staff member.
|Open Days||There will be no open days if this plan needs to be activated|
|Parental attendance in School/Setting||Parental attendance in school will be strictly limited and will only take place in exceptional circumstances. Masks must be worn.|
Families will be contacted by phone, email or video call.
Member of staff holding meeting
|Transition/Taster Days||There will be no crossing of bubbles during transition. All guidelines will be adhered to.||SLT|