How to use this checklist

Workplace checklist

  • While the DfE emphasises that schools must continue to conduct risk assessments and put in place control measures, it is not for example advising schools to adopt the same kind of physical distancing measures which apply across the rest of society.
    This joint commentary and checklist is based on the current DfE advice for schools and follows its structure: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools .
    It aims to help those who work in and lead schools to understand the DFE advice and the joint unions’ concerns and prepare for a safe return to school. It proposes questions for union reps to ask about different aspects of plans for reopening with the overall aim of making them as safe as they can be.
    Risk assessment is at the very centre of our approach
    - this checklist is intended to assist with a thorough and wide-ranging risk assessment, not replace or substitute for one.
    Union reps should seek meetings with school leaders in order to discuss plans for full opening.
    School leaders’ difficult responsibility will be assisted by comprehensive union input.
    Consultation must start as soon as possible and allow for improvements to be made to those plans.
    If unfortunately there is either a failure to consult or members’ concerns are not being addressed, then this should be escalated.
    Union reps should share this checklist (and their school’s existing and proposed risk assessments if available) with members and invite them to comment formally and informally via zoom meetings or other means.
    Members should be updated on progress and remain fully involved.

  • On each section, the appendix contains the Additional Checklist for Special Schools: this additional checklist is based on the specific DFE advice for special schools, recognising their specific challenges and also recognising that in special schools a phased, more flexible approach to a full return may be necessary.

The risk assessment process

The risk assessment process

  • (refer to DFE Advice Section 1 “Public Health Advice to Minimise COVID-19 Risks” and Annex A)
    The DFE advice notes that schools must review and update their risk assessments to include the additional control measures needed for a return to full opening and put arrangements in place for monitoring and updating arrangements from September. Annex A of the DFE advice gives more detailed advice on the process. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

  • Will there be full consultation with union reps and staff on the revised risk assessments for full opening in September?

  • Will parents/carers and pupils be informed of planned measures to protect them and others?

  • Has it been agreed that the risk assessments will be reviewed before reopening when circumstances may be different and periodically thereafter?

  • Has the process included risk assessments for individual staff at greater risk for example pregnant women, new mothers, older staff, disabled staff and Black staff?

  • Has the process also included risk assessments for individual pupils identified as at greater. risk, including users of wheelchairs and other physical aids?

  • Will the risk assessment be undertaken by a ‘competent person(s)’ as defined by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999?

  • Will there be satisfactory arrangements for information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure that procedures are implemented and maintained?

  • Will there be a system for flagging up deficiencies in the risk assessment and ensuring that changes are introduced and do all staff know about this?

  • Will the school have an alternative plan in case, for any reason such as a renewed local lockdown, full opening cannot take place at the beginning of September?

  • Details of the plan?

  • Has there been co-ordination between the school and any on-site contractors in the development and sharing of risk assessments?

  • Have arrangements been put in the place to ensure the findings of the school risk assessment will be shared with visiting workers and/or their employers?

  • Have catering and cleaning arrangements been included in the risk assessment, including in relation to shared equipment as well as social distancing?

  • Will the finished risk assessment be circulated to all staff and published on the school website?

  • Is your school a Special School?

  • Is the school considering the need for additional preparation time for SEND students to be ready for a full return and therefore planning for a phased, more flexible return of students (eg during the first half of the autumn term)?

  • Will parents, carers and pupils be consulted on planned measures to protect them and others?

  • Has the process included risk assessments for individual pupils identified as at greater risk, including users of wheelchairs and other physical aids?

  • Is there a plan in place to assess risk for every child with an EHC plan (most children in a special school setting)? Which staff will be involved in this process?

  • Have staff, parents and pupils (if over 16 and appropriate) been consulted about plans for September?

  • Have ‘bubbles’, equipment use, transport, personal care needs etc been taken into account in the risk assessment?

  • Has the risk assessment of the school’s transport provider been seen and the school been consulted on it?

  • The DfE says that it will not be issuing further national notices to modify EHC plan duties under the Children and Families Act 2014 beyond 31 July but may have recourse to ‘local flexibilities’ if there are further outbreaks. The temporary changes to the law which relax local authorities’ duties on EHC needs assessments and plans remain in place until 25 September.

  • Has your school considered the implications of the temporary changes to the law on its capacity to support students?

  • Will all children be able to access any additional external support that they require to fully participate?

  • Will central support team staff, therapy staff and peripatetic teachers be able to access the school and work with students safely? Does the school have a plan for how this is to be managed? Can the school provide PPE/face coverings/masks/sanitiser to all visiting professionals who need it?

  • Will children be able to access any additional assessment required external to the school?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school met its legal requirement to update its risk assessments to include additional/revised control measures needed for a return to full opening in September?

Protective measures

  • (refer to DFE Advice Section 1 “Public Health Advice to Minimise COVID-19 Risks”): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools
    The DfE requires schools to adopt its numbered system of control measures.
    Measures 1 to 4 must be in place at all times, Measure 6 applies in specific circumstances, and Measures 7 to 9 must be followed in every case where infections occur in schools.
    Measure 5 relates to social distancing in the school and is considered in a separate section of the checklist.

1. Minimising contact with those who are unwell

  • Will everyone in the school community be informed and reminded not to come into school if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive in the last 7 days and to self-isolate for at least 7 days and arrange to be tested if they develop symptoms?

  • Will a system be adopted and publicised for anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms to be sent home or collected asap by parents/carers and for all staff and students to be reminded to wash or sanitise their hands if they have come into contact with them?

  • Will arrangements be in place for children awaiting collection to be kept isolated in a room with closed doors and open window and separate bathroom available (including when more than one child is awaiting collection)?

  • Will these areas be cleaned afterwards to reduce the risk of infection to others?

  • And has been agreed by whom?

  • † Will PPE always be available for members of staff tasked with supporting children in these circumstances and will they be trained in its safe use and disposal?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures to minimise contact with those who are unwell?

2. Cleaning hands

  • Are measures in place with sufficient time allocated for pupils and staff to clean their hands (with soap & warm running water or sanitiser) when they arrive at school, return from breaks, change rooms and before and after eating?

  • Will mid-session breaks be long enough to allow hand washing for all students and staff?

  • Will lunch breaks be long enough to allow hand washing as well as eating and drinking?

  • How many additional hand washing or sanitising locations will be needed?

  • Will soap, warm water and sanitiser be available at all times?

  • Are satisfactory arrangements proposed to avoid over-crowding particularly when pupils are gathering to wash or sanitise their hands?

  • How will the school ensure that young pupils and those with complex needs can be assisted and that sanitiser isn’t ingested or misused in other ways?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures to clean hands more often than usual?

3. Ensuring good respiratory hygiene

  • Will pupils be regularly reminded to catch their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow?

  • Will the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach work with Early Years children? (If not, alternative measures will need to be in place - see section on PPE)

  • Will windows be kept open at all possible times to aid ventilation?

  • Will doors be kept open where possible to aid ventilation?

  • Will air conditioning only be used when it is deemed safe to do so?
    https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation.htm

  • Will any mechanical ventilation systems be run continuously, with any air recirculation switched off or set to as low a level as possible REHVA guidance?
    https://www.rehva.eu/activities/covid-19-guidance

  • NB. Not including LEV systems in secondary school workshops and specialist rooms, which are used to remove dust and other particles from the air as part of practical making and finishing processes?

  • What arrangements are in place to keep every classroom and other work area supplied with tissues at all times?

  • Will lidded bins with double bagging be available in every classroom and work area?

  • Will arrangements be made for emptying and sanitising bins regularly and for keeping bin contents in a secure area prior to collection?

  • Will there be different processes for dealing with waste from those suspected to be infected?

  • Will paper towels and bins be provided in every toilet/washroom area and hot air hand dryers disconnected?

  • Is your school a Special School?

  • Is PPE being provided and worn by all staff managing tracheostomies or other tubing processes for students? Is adequate time being allowed for them to put on and remove the PPE before and after carrying out procedures?

  • Has the school included the risks from the ‘airborne transmission of respiratory droplets’ for staff working with children who regularly spit or use saliva as a sensory stimulant?

  • Will windows be kept open at all times to aid ventilation?

  • Will doors be kept open where possible to aid ventilation?

  • Has this been risk assessed in terms of students for whom leaving the door (or windows) open would not be safe?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures to ensure good respiratory hygiene?

4. Introducing enhanced cleaning

  • Will cleaning arrangements be extended to cope with the increased numbers of staff and pupils in attendance in September?

  • Is there capacity amongst the cleaning staff to meet these increased requirements?

  • Will additional cleaners be engaged?

  • Will advice to pupils emphasise the need to adhere to the same standards of hygiene and behaviour throughout all areas of the school?

  • Will all areas be thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis, with particular focus on frequently handled surfaces such as door handles, light switches, table/counter tops, handrails and bannisters, chairs, computers including mouse and keyboard, photocopiers, telephones, shared learning resources or toys, specialist equipment for SEND pupils, toilets and toilet handles, sinks, taps and other areas touched regularly, with additional cleaning during the day as necessary?

  • Has it been agreed who will undertake this work?

  • Will dedicated space be available for any breastfeeding women to express milk, and will the space be cleaned thoroughly after each use?

  • Has it been agreed who will undertake this work?

  • Will each classroom be provided with gloves and disinfectant spray in case a pupil coughs or sneezes on a piece of equipment or furniture?

  • Will adequate arrangements be in place for cleaning of shared items which cannot be left unused for 72 hours between use?

  • Will arrangements be in place to limit the extent to which pupil belongings and school items are brought into school or taken home and store belongings safely when in school?

  • Will arrangements be in place for limiting the handling of pupil work by staff, including amended arrangements for submitting work online in preference to physical paper and books, with subsequent changes in arrangements for marking?

  • What additional cleaning arrangements will be made for communal areas in boarding schools such as shared lounges, bedrooms and bathrooms?

  • What additional measures will be taken for laundry provision in boarding schools?

  • Is your school a Special School?

  • Will arrangements be in place to limit bringing of pupil belongings into school, store such belongings safely when in school, and limit taking school items home and back into school?

  • Will arrangements be in place for pupils to bring in items which support stimming etc safely?

  • Will arrangements for this be discussed with parents/carers first?

  • Will adequate arrangements be in place for cleaning of shared items, such as therapy or support aids, which cannot be left unused for 72 hours between use?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures to introduce enhanced cleaning including for frequently touched surfaces?

5. Minimising contact and maintaining social distancing between individuals

  • See separate page of checklist.

6. Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) where appropriate

  • It is essential that school leaders are familiar with legal requirements regarding the provision of PPE, rather than focusing solely on the DfE guidance.
    https://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/ppe.htm

  • As part of the risk assessment will appropriate PPE be provided for staff at significant risk, due to necessary close personal contact with pupils who can’t control behaviour such
    as spitting, coughing or sneezing or whose behaviour or learning needs to be physically managed, including in Early Years and SEND settings but also cleaning and laundry staff, house parents and medical staff in boarding schools?

  • For these staff will each staff member be risk assessed to ensure that the most appropriate PPE for their individual needs and nature of work (eg changing students/working with risk of regular spitting), is sourced for their use in the workplace? (eg hearing aid users cannot wear ties around the ears, BSL users or those who need children to see their mouth will need clear masks etc)?

  • Will appropriate PPE also be provided for staff previously deemed to be extremely clinically vulnerable, clinically vulnerable (including pregnant women) or otherwise at higher risk, or who have vulnerable family members, who are returning to work in school?

  • Will all staff or pupils who choose to wear a face covering, whether a face mask/face visor or both, for purposes of personal reassurance be permitted to do so? (The HSE says that if staff choose to wear face coverings this should be supported by employers: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/ppe-face-masks/face-coverings-and-face-masks.htm)

  • Is your school a Special School?

  • Will appropriate PPE be provided for staff at significant risk, due to necessary close personal contact with pupils who can’t control behaviour such as spitting, coughing or sneezing or whose behaviour or learning needs to be physically managed?

  • Will each staff member be risk assessed to ensure that the most appropriate mask or covering is sourced for their use? (eg hearing aid users cannot wear ties around the ears , BSL users or those who need children to see their mouth will need clear masks etc)

  • Will all staff being entitled to more frequent breaks in order to change the PPE/face coverings eg between sessions, after working with individual children and to hydrate properly?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures for wearing PPE?

7. Engaging with the NHS Test & Trace process

  • Will arrangements for compliance with the NHS Test and Trace system to be communicated to all staff, students, visitors and parents?

  • Will these arrangements provide that children sent home with symptoms do not return to school until either the isolation period has passed or a negative test result is provided?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures to engage with the NHS Test & Trace process?

8. Managing confirmed COVID-19 cases in the school community

  • Will the school undertake to follow DFE advice on sending home anyone who have been in close contact with confirmed cases and advising them to self-isolate for 14 days?

  • Will these arrangements provide that children sent home with symptoms do not return to school until either the isolation period has passed or a negative test result is provided?

  • Will specific staff members be appointed to liaise with the local health protection team as necessary and identify close contacts in the event of any confirmed cases?

  • Will the school seek the advice of the local health protection team on sharing information about the identity of confirmed cases?

  • Where this impracticable, such as potentially for overseas pupils in boarding schools, has special provision been made for self-isolation?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures to manage confirmed COVID-19 cases in the school community?

9. Containing outbreaks

  • Will an assurance be given that staff will be told whenever a child or staff member goes home with COVID-19 symptoms?

  • Will an assurance be given that trade union reps will be involved including in liaison with the local health protection team?

  • Can an assurance be given that all necessary information about potential outbreaks will be treated as urgent and shared with staff at an early stage?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures to manage confirmed COVID-19 cases in the school community?

Social distancing

  • (refer to DFE Advice Section 1 “Public Health Advice to Minimise COVID-19 Risks”): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

    The arrangements adopted by schools for minimising contact and maintaining social distancing between individuals are of vital importance for staff and student safety. The DFE advice assumes a continuing decrease in the prevalence of COVID-19 into the autumn term. The DFE’s overarching principle is to reduce the number of contacts by keeping groups separate (the ‘bubble’ approach) and maintain social distance between individuals where possible. The DFE proposes that bubbles can increase in size, potentially to encompass entire year groups, and that teachers and other staff can move between classes and year groups as necessary. For secondary schools, the DFE advises staff to maintain distance from pupils and other staff, ideally at a 2-metre distance.

a. Grouping children

  • Have decisions been made to keep the size of bubbles as small as possible?

  • In primary schools, does the school plan to restrict the size of bubbles to no larger than one class?

  • Given that Early Years children cannot socially distance will sufficiently small groups/ bubbles be maintained at all times?

  • In secondary schools, does the school plan to restrict the size of bubbles for KS3 students to no larger than one class?

  • In secondary schools, does the school plan to restrict the size of bubbles for KS4 students to no more than half of an entire year group?

  • Will teachers working with students in a particular bubble remain separate from students in other bubbles at all times?

  • If no, will steps be taken to minimise the extent to which teachers move between bubbles?

  • Will support staff working with students in a particular bubble remain separate from students in other bubbles at all times?

  • If no, will steps be taken to minimise the extent to which support staff move between bubbles?

  • Will an assurance be given that classroom support staff will not be expected to teach whole classes as a result of these arrangements?

  • Will arrangements ensure that pupils with special needs receive consistent support from the same key workers where possible?

  • Have arrangements been made to ensure that IT Technicians are able to avoid the crossing of “bubbles” and maintain social distancing with pupils and colleagues?

  • In boarding schools, will students in a particular house bubble remain separate from other house bubbles at all times?

  • Will staff working with students in boarding house bubbles remain separate from staff delivering the curriculum during the day?

  • Are arrangements in place for pupils to safely access quiet spaces, sensory rooms during the school day, taking into account the need to maintain bubbles and clean between users?

  • Is your school a Special School?

  • For special schools, the DfE recognises that social distancing is difficult and says it is acceptable for students not to distance within their bubble or group. In special schools many pupils will need the opportunity to leave their class and go to a quieter, or less sensory stimulating space at times during the day.

  • Has the school adopted appropriate ways of creating bubbles for the setting? (eg linked to corridor, series of rooms or other geographical arrangements, rather than by year group or just one class)

  • Are arrangements in place for pupils to safely access quiet spaces, sensory rooms during the school day? Will this be staffed, given the need to maintain bubbles? Will these areas be cleaned between users and by whom?

  • Will staff such as subject specialists in special schools be given the option to work across bubbles or to live stream lessons from remote rooms?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures for social distancing when grouping students?

b. Measures within the classroom

  • Will the lay out of classrooms be adapted and furniture removed in order to increase distance between staff and pupils and between staff and other staff?

  • Will the school’s arrangements ensure that staff maintain a 2 metre distance from other staff and students at all times?

  • In secondary schools, will the school’s arrangements ensure that students maintain a 2-metre distance from other students at all times?

  • Will pupils who are old enough to maintain distancing from staff and their peers be expected and supported to do so?

  • Will other measures be adopted in the classroom to offer protection to staff in cases where children cannot be expected to maintain social distancing, eg SEND/Early Years pupils?

  • Is your school a Special School?

  • Given the number of students and staff in small classroom spaces in special schools, has a risk assessment been undertaken to judge safe numbers and the realistic possibility of any distancing?

  • Has the school identified quiet spaces for pupils with SEND who need them?

  • Has the school identified how staff will manage pupils who need support with personal care (eg going to the toilet) in a way that maintains their dignity?

  • Has the school identified those who will support pupils with SEND in order to ensure those pupils who need them have regular consistent key workers?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures for social distancing within the classroom?

c. Measures elsewhere

  • Will the school avoid large gatherings onsite,eg assemblies with more than one year group?

  • Have arrangements been made to ensure that the integrity of “bubbles” and social distancing arrangements can be maintained in the school library?

  • Will arrangements for lesson changeover and pupils needing time out ensure that overcrowding in corridors is prevented?

  • Will there be a one-way system with appropriate floor markings and single file walking if necessary?

  • Will there be arrangements for safe movement on staircases and in lifts?

  • Will there be arrangements for pupils who need additional assistance with movement
    around the school?

  • Will lunch breaks be staggered?

  • If so, how many separate lunchbreaks will this require, allowing time for cleaning of surfaces between sessions?

  • Has provision been made for cleaning staff to clean between sittings?’

  • If lunch breaks are to be staggered, is there capacity amongst the catering staff to meet
    the increased hours?

  • Will additional staff be engaged?

  • Will arrangements for access to pupil toilets ensure that overcrowding is prevented and that dignity/privacy can be maintained for pupils with SEND and for very young pupils?

  • Will arrangements be in place for staff to be on duty at all times monitoring safe movement around the site?

  • Will the school adopt other arrangements to keep movement around the school site and overcrowding to a minimum?

  • Has space been identified for pupils who need to be withdrawn from the classroom for whatever reasons?

  • Will there be arrangements to allow staff to take their breaks away from pupils and in a safe environment?

  • Has the school adopted suitable arrangements (in line with their subject association COVID-19 guidance and the Back to School guidance from CLEAPSS) by reorganising teaching resources in those classes in specialist practical subjects, where pupils normally access equipment and materials as needs dictate during practical activities?

  • Has the school adopted suitable arrangements in those classes in specialist practical subjects, to enable the safe storage of work-books and/or practical work in progress?

  • Has the school conducted a review of HACCP procedures to consider and reflect any impact from these changes on food safety. Of help will be the FSA guidance for food businesses on adapting and reopening due to COVID-19?
    https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/reopening-and-adapting-your-food-business-during-covid-19

  • Will communications on social distancing arrangements take place regularly to reinforce key messages with translation into the preferred language of employees for whom English is not the first language?

  • If lifts are used are they cleaned during the day?

  • Is your school a Special School?

  • Will there be arrangements for pupils who need additional assistance with movement around the school?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures for social distancing elsewhere in the school?

d. Measures for arriving at and leaving school

  • Will there be staggered start and finish times to reduce contact between pupils?

  • Will there be arrangements in place to prevent overcrowding at the school gate and any other potential areas of overcrowding?

  • Will sufficient staff be on duty to monitor safe arrival and departure for each group of pupils, including to support pupils who need it (those with SEND/anxiety etc)?

  • Will arrangements be in place throughout the day to ensure that unauthorised visitors are not admitted and authorised visitors allowed in?

  • Will parents/carers be instructed that they may not come onto the premises unless they have an appointment or it is an emergency situation?

  • Will confirmation be given that there will be no blanket ban on the wearing of face coverings in school/college?

  • Is your school a Special School?

  • Will arrangements be in place for the safety of peripatetic staff, central support team staff (EPS etc) and supply staff?

  • Will sufficient staff be on duty to monitor safe arrival and departure for pupils who need specific support?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school adopted satisfactory control measures for social distancing on arrival and departure?

The school workforce

  • (refer to DFE Advice Section 2 “School Operations”)
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

a. Staff who are vulnerable or otherwise at increased risk

  • Has the school agreed to carry out individual risk assessments for each employee taking account of their personal and household circumstances and local circumstances with regard to COVID-19?

  • Has the school in particular agreed to individual risk assessments for staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable, clinically vulnerable (including pregnant employees) or at increased risk (in particular older staff, disabled staff and Black staff) or who live with such people?

  • Has the school agreed that these risk assessments will be reviewed as at the start of September term taking account of any changes to personal or local circumstances?

  • Has the school agreed that all employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) or live with CEV people will be permitted to work at home in September if they wish to do so?

  • Has the school agreed to consider appropriate measures for employees who are clinically vulnerable or at increased risk, such as working at home, working in amended roles at home or amended roles in school where it is possible to maintain social distancing, or wearing PPE where desired?

  • Has the school agreed to plan for September on the basis that not all members of staff will necessarily be able to attend school then?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school made satisfactory plans to address vulnerable and higher risk individuals?

b. Supporting staff – workload and wellbeing

  • Will formal confirmation be given to staff that the overall working day will not be longer for any members of staff as a result of these changes and that for hourly-paid staff any additional hours required will be on a voluntary basis, agreed with individual staff members and will be paid?

  • Will the school agree to conduct a workload impact assessment which addresses the level of staff workload and working time demands in the light of proposed working arrangements from September?

  • Will the school consult formally on directed time arrangements for teachers and publish an overall school calendar and individual directed time calendars?

  • Will the school allocate additional planning & preparation time to staff for the autumn term?

  • Will the school review and identify additional support for newly and recently qualified staff new to the school, and any staff anxious about returning or continuing to work at home?

  • Will INSET days be used in a way which best supports staff in relation to wider opening?

  • Will there be other arrangements to support staff wellbeing such as stress and workload surveys and provision of individual support for staff experiencing anxiety or effects of trauma?

  • Will the school continue with online meetings and keep to a minimum physical meetings in order to reduce transmission and time spent in the school building?
    †

  • Will the school consider PPA and directed time outside pupil hours being spent working from home?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school made satisfactory plans to address well-being and workload?

c. Support staff and visiting specialist staff; supply staff; and staff taking leave

  • Is the expectation that support staff will carry out their normal role as per their job description?

  • Will any additional work and hours be agreed with the member of staff and paid accordingly?

  • If teaching assistants are to be asked to lead groups or cover lessons will they be the right grade (eg HLTAs, Cover supervisors) and will they have the support, training, skills and experience needed?

  • Will the school consider alternative arrangements for external agencies which minimise the need for physical visits, in-person observations and face to face assessments?

  • Will the school adopt a policy for continued employment for peripatetic and supply staff as necessary in order to ensure such staff are able to continue to support the school as needed?

  • Will arrangements be in place to ensure that supply and peripatetic staff are informed about and supported with regard to safety measures when in school?

  • Has the school agreed that any staff required to quarantine in September as a result of holidays booked prior to the Government’s quarantine announcement will be able to work at home or be allowed paid leave of absence?

  • Are there arrangements in place to ensure only essential visitors are allowed on site?

  • Are there arrangements in place to ensure that visiting staff are considered during any test and trace process and can be contacted if necessary?

  • Do the staff working for contractors in schools have access to full contractual sick pay and is the real living wage paid as a minimum?

  • Is your school a special school?

  • Will the school conduct individual risk assessments for support staff working 1:1 with SEND pupils?

  • Will support staff be offered additional PPE/masks/face covering/gloves following risk assessment of the children they are working closely with students who may be less able to socially distance, may spit etc?

  • Has risk assessment been undertaken regarding protocols around positive handling/ restraint of pupils?

School operations

  • (refer to DFE Advice Section 2 “School Operations”): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

1. Dedicated school transport

  • Has the risk assessment of the school’s transport provider been seen and the school been consulted on it?

  • Will satisfactory arrangements be made for distancing in seating plans (and in particular will it be possible to group pupils on transport according to their groups when in school)?

  • Will additional staff be needed to drive and supervise extra school buses, if this is deemed necessary to maintain social distancing?

  • If so, will additional staff be engaged?

  • Will satisfactory arrangements be made for supervision of boarding & disembarking including using sanitiser when boarding & disembarking and for complying with seating plans?

  • Will arrangements be made for additional cleaning of vehicles?

  • What does ‘additional cleaning’ of vehicles involve and how often will cleaning take place?

  • Will pupils aged 11 and above be required to wear face coverings on dedicated school transport as well as on public transport?

  • Will protocols be put in place for drivers/escorts to report to a member of staff any child who they deem to be unwell on the journey to school?

  • Will this include isolation of other students on that transport and the driver and escort?

  • Will drivers and escorts be instructed not to pick up students displaying symptoms?

  • Is your school a Special School?

  • Will arrangements be made for additional transport in order to permit fewer students per vehicle and shorter journey times?

  • Will arrangements be made for drivers and escorts to wear face coverings?

  • What arrangements are in place for transport and escorts if children need to return home?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school made satisfactory plans for dedicated school transport including statutory provision?

2. Wider public transport

  • Has the school ascertained how many pupils currently travel to school using public transport and begun discussions with the local authority and/or Local PHE Health Protection Team on alternatives?

  • Will alternatives be promoted which, where possible, avoid a significant increase in car journeys?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school made satisfactory plans for wider public transport?

3. Student attendance

  • Will a flexible approach to mandatory attendance be adopted based on “working towards full attendance” and recognising the differing circumstances of families and pupils?

  • Will arrangements be in place to support families of Black students, students with SEND and others who may have increased concerns about resuming full attendance, particularly in areas where deaths from Covid have been high?

  • Will arrangements remain in place for remote education for students who cannot attend schools?

  • Will the school ensure that its workload impact assessment includes remote education for students unable to return to school?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school made satisfactory plans for student attendance?

4. Educational visits

  • Does the school intend to resume domestic educational visits not involving an overnight stay?

  • Will staff be fully consulted on the resumption of a programme of educational visits and on individual proposed visits?

  • Will additional support be available from the Educational Visits Co-ordinator or other senior member of staff when planning any visit so that assurances can be given that venues are covid-secure?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school made satisfactory plans for educational visits?

5. School uniform

  • Will a relaxed uniform policy be in place?

  • Will this also apply to staff dress codes?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school made satisfactory plans for school uniform policy in order to make it easier for everyone to wear clean clothes?

6. Extra-curricular provision

  • Does the school intend to resume any breakfast and after-school provision?

  • Will this be done without increasing contact and mixing and without increasing staff workload?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school made satisfactory plans for extra-curricular provision?

Education provision

  • (refer to DFE Advice Section 3 “Curriculum, Behaviour and Pastoral Support” and Section 4 “Assessment and Accountability”): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

1. Curriculum expectations

  • Have staff been consulted on changes to the curriculum aimed at ‘recovery’ that is relevant and responsive to children and communities, that uses approaches and content from the previous year’s curriculum?

  • Has additional time been provided for staff to ensure new activities and remote learning can be thoroughly and collaboratively planned?

  • Does your timetable give each year group access to all curriculum subjects and is there a good balance between core and foundation subjects?

  • Does the timetable include sufficient creative subjects, and space for dialogue and sustained thinking?

  • Has the school agreed not to ‘set’ pupils in Y7 in order to better maintain consistent bubbles?

  • Will staff be consulted about spending catch-up funding and about the best ways to plan small group work for students to enable consolidation?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school made satisfactory plans to address curriculum expectations?

2. Behaviour and pastoral issues

  • Does the timetable include sufficient/increased time or additional arrangements for social and emotional support for students?

  • Have pastoral systems been reviewed to support students to make healthy transitions and continue to engage with their learning?

  • Has sufficient time been allocated to outdoor learning for all pupils, especially in EYFS?

  • How will learning, transitions and extra support for pupils with SEND be planned?

  • Has the behaviour policy been reviewed to acknowledge the increased level of trauma and anxiety experienced by students and the impacts on engagement, self-esteem and behaviours?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school reviewed its behaviour policy and pastoral systems to make them relevant and appropriate for the Coronavirus period?

3. Assessment and accountability

  • Has additional time been allocated within teaching time for ongoing assessment of pupils’ baseline assessments and transitions from their previous class?

  • Will staff be consulted on what meaningful assessment will look like following the period of closure and remote learning?

  • [Primary] Has the school agreed that it will not carry out the government’s baseline assessment in the autumn term and will not be an early adopter of the new EYFS curriculum?

  • [Secondary] Will the school maintain all GCSE subjects for pupils in Y10 and Y11?

  • [Secondary] Does the timetable enable pupils taking GCSE and other equivalent qualifications, to sustain study in those subjects where they are considering progression to further courses and possible career paths?

  • [Secondary] Has the school considered how to manage pupils’ entry to the Autumn series of exams fairly, including for pupils who have left the school, and how to manage pupils’ sitting the exams safely and with appropriate invigilation?

  • Will staff be consulted on new, innovative ways of working to build on lessons learnt and use of technology during the lockdown, eg use of technology and outdoor learning?

  • Has the school agreed not to link pay progression to pupil progress in 2020-2021?

  • Taking into account the answers to the supplementary questions above, has your school made satisfactory plans to address assessment and accountability?

Contingency planning

  • (refer to DFE Advice Section 5 “Contingency Planning for Outbreaks”): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

Contingency planning

  • Will the school put a plan in place for students’ remote education in the event of the school needing to close?

  • Will the school ensure that its workload impact assessment includes possible remote education for all students in the event of the school needing to close?

  • Will the school ensure that staff and students have full access to Government schemes around the provision of IT equipment?

  • Will there be full consultation with trade union reps on contingency plans?

Hospital education on hospital sites

  • The DfE expects that all pupils in hospital schools will also return to full-time education from September where it is safe and in line with hospital infection and prevention control measures.

  • Are plans in place to risk assess every such student ?

  • What protocols are in place to isolate students showing signs of Covid 19 in a hospital setting?

  • How will staff be informed?

  • How will staff be isolated?

  • What procedures are in place for creating bubbles of any sort in a hospital school setting?

  • Will staff be provided with PPE/Masks when working closely with students?

  • What safety measures are in place for staff who will be working with potentially different children and young people every week? How can this be managed safely?

Final notes and sign off

  • Additional notes

  • Signature

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