COVID-19 Phased Return FAQs

12th May 2020

COVID-19 Phased Return to School

Frequently Asked Questions From Parents

Q: Why does the Government want children back now?

A: The longer children are out of school, the greater the gaps will widen in academic, social and emotional development. The Government is keen to support parents back into work to support the economy.

Q: How will my child be kept safe in school?

A: School has followed all Government and Public Health Guidance, including procedures how to plan for social distancing, cleaning and welfare of children. School has taken Health & Safety advice.  All staff are following a rigorous risk assessment. School and Governors have a very proactive reputation for health and safety and safeguarding for our children, and this has been heightened in the current crisis to ensure risks are well managed and planned for.

Children have regular  hand washing supervised e.g. on arrival, before and after lunch.

All children reminded of impotence of hand hygiene. E.g. ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ campaign.

School already has hand sanitiser at entrances.

This is reviewed daily. We are all in this together, and are very committed to keeping our children and staff safe.

Q: I don’t want my child to come back, as I feel it is unsafe. Do they have to come back?

A: We are encouraging identified classes of pupils to come back, as they will benefit both socially, educationally and emotionally from being back in routines. However, unless your child is classed as vulnerable, you retain the right to keep your child at home in the short term.

Q: Will I be fined if I don’t send my child into school?

A: No, not in the current situation. Once the current situation is under control, we will revert back to our attendance rules.

Q: Will I be fined if I take my child out of school in September or October, or next year for a holiday?

Yes. Pupils have already missed a lot of education, and we will not look kindly on parents taking holidays in school time.

Q: Should children wear masks or face coverings in school?

A: There is no guidance currently that supports children wearing masks. It is considered that face masks for children may put them at further risk of inadvertently increasing the risk of transmission.

Q: How is school kept clean?

A: Additional cleaning time has been budgeted for and cleaning and sanitising follows guidance. All equipment is sanitised at the end of the day including toys and P.E equipment, high touch areas e.g. door handles, toilet flushes. Some equipment is out of use e.g. sand and water, soft furnishings.

Every class has access to cleaning materials, PPE and additional supplies have been sourced, so we have a good stock in school.

School have robust procedures for dealing with bodily spills e.g. vomit, and full PPE is available to staff including splash visors.

We have a modern building with equipment that is tidy, in good order and well maintained. We also have additional space we can spill into e.g. the Children’s Centre is now part of our building from April.

Q: How can children be socially distanced?

A: All children will remain in their classroom e.g. P.E will only take place outdoors currently. Lunch will be eaten in the classroom.

Children will not be allowed to go on errands around the school.

Use of toilets is staggered.

A maximum of 15 pupils per class. Each Year group when exceeding 15 children will be split in 2. We have already planned for staffing and accommodation for 2 classes for F2, Y1, Y6. Your child may not be in their usual classroom, or with their usual teacher, and may be dropped off and collected from a different entrance.

Seating in class is planned for 2m distances. Lining up will be 2m apart, and children will not be sat in groups.

Children will be given daily reminders about distancing.

Each child will have their own seat and own equipment, e.g. pens, pencils, rulers. If equipment has to be shared it will be sanitised before and after use.

Play times and lunch times will be staggered, so there are only two year groups KS1 and KS2 in playground.

There will be no assemblies or group gatherings. Trips out e.g. on buses are on hold.

Drop off and pick up will be staggered.

Children will still gravitate towards each other at play time, but supervision and smaller classes will mean children are constantly reminded of the 2m expectation.

Q: If all this extra time in cleaning and taking precautions is going on, what time is there for teaching?

A: By the time children come back into school our routines and structures will be well rehearsed. The curriculum will have to be adapted to allow time to teach safety and wellbeing.

Q: What happens with visitors and parents in school

All visitors entering from reception have to follow our strict guidelines e.g. hand wash on arrival.

One person only in entrance hall. Seating has been removed.

Q; What rules will parents have to follow?

Parents are not allowed to socialise in the playground and must keep 2m apart.

Only 1 adult should drop off and pick up. Younger siblings should be discouraged from entering the playground.

Pick up and drop off times must be strictly adhered to. Children arriving late and entering at different points in school puts staff and pupils at risk, and takes up time for supervision on entry.

Packed lunches must be brought in with your child. School will not accept late packed lunches being handed in at reception, children will be provided with a school lunch and parents charged.

Parents MUST update their telephone contacts, and we MUST have at least 3 emergency contact details in case of emergency e.g. school closure.

Q: What if my child is not in F2, Y1, Y6 and their sibling can come to school.

A: Only children in year groups as directed by Government will be allowed to attend, as well as Key worker children and children considered vulnerable.

Q; How can school cope if the staff are off sick?

A: School can only operate with staffing numbers that represent a safe ratio for supervision. We expect to be back to almost full staffing capacity by June and are confident we can operate safely within Government guidelines. If there is a risk of low staffing numbers, the Local Authority will support us. E.g. deploying staff from another school as back up.

Q; What if another child in my child’s class or a parent gets Corona Virus?

A: We would take advice from Public Health England. It could be that other pupils in the class are asked to self-isolate for 14 days. The school or an area may need to be closed off and deep cleaned. It is unlikely the school would close.

Q: What if a member of school staff gets Corona Virus and brings it into school?

A: If a member of school staff displays signs or symptoms, they are advised not to attend school and self-isolate for 14 days. The areas the staff have been in contact with will be deep cleaned. We will act on advice from Public Health England.

Q: Will the children be back in September?

A: Keep yourself updated on school website and National news, we do not yet have any firm details.

Q: Are you open in the summer holidays?

A: No we are closing. Date reminder last day is Friday 17th July 2p.m close.

Q: My child is due to start school in September. Will they have any visits?

Transition visits are on hold currently and we will need to plan how best to support our new children in September, e.g. they may start a few later than planned, with some shorter visits beforehand.

Q: My child has special needs. Will they still get support?

Y: Yes, where other external agencies are still working e.g. Our speech therapist will be in and supporting. In house support will continue. E.g. intervention and catch up. The Government has stated that we need to use our ‘best endeavours’ to support children with additional needs still. Some one to one posts will need to be re–recruited to, as some staff resigned at the outset of the Covid crisis.