Reopening FAQs

Our Core Reopening Principles

1 Our central purpose is to provide a first-class education for all students in our care, but the health and safety of all students and members of staff have to come first at all times.

3 In the first instance, no member of staff and no student will be compelled to attend work or school if they feel at risk in doing so. In the summer term, the level of provision we extend to Year 10 and Year 12 students will, therefore, be dependent on staff availability and student/family willingness to return to school.

5 In order to minimise or even erase the impact of school closures, it is essential that we take all reasonable steps to understand the gaps in ALL students’ knowledge and understanding so that the curriculum may be fully planned and commenced in September. This process must begin with Years 10 and 12 in the summer term in order to maximise the impact of their final GCSE or A-Level year.

2 How and when the school reopens will be informed by the most up to date scientific advice and guidance provided by Public Health England, the Department for Education and the Government. It will also respect the advice and guidance of employees’ unions and professional associations.

4 All reasonable steps must be undertaken to ensure that Years 10 or 12 students who are unable to re-engage in school before the summer holidays will not be disadvantaged. Meanwhile, whilst Year 10 and Year 12 students’ needs are the most pressing in our school community, their education should not be at the expense of students currently in Years 7 to 9.

1 Our central purpose is to provide a first-class education for all students in our care, but the health and safety of all students and members of staff have to come first at all times.

2 How and when the school reopens will be informed by the most up to date scientific advice and guidance provided by Public Health England, the Department for Education and the Government. It will also respect the advice and guidance of employees’ unions and professional associations.

3 In the first instance, no member of staff and no student will be compelled to attend work or school if they feel at risk in doing so. In the summer term, the level of provision we extend to Year 10 and Year 12 students will, therefore, be dependent on staff availability and student/family willingness to return to school.

4 All reasonable steps must be undertaken to ensure that Years 10 or 12 students who are unable to re-engage in school before the summer holidays will not be disadvantaged. Meanwhile, whilst Year 10 and Year 12 students’ needs are the most pressing in our school community, their education should not be at the expense of students currently in Years 7 to 9.

5 In order to minimise or even erase the impact of school closures, it is essential that we take all reasonable steps to understand the gaps in ALL students’ knowledge and understanding so that the curriculum may be fully planned and commenced in September. This process must begin with Years 10 and 12 in the summer term in order to maximise the impact of their final GCSE or A-Level year.

See the reference points and guidelines we have used

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How will suspected or contaminated PPE or other waste be disposed of safely?

  • Waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths and tissues):
    • Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.
    • The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.
    • It should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known
  • Waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. Waste will not be placed in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.
  • If the individual tests negative, this can be put in with the normal waste. If the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and put in with the normal waste
  • If storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate or possible then an arrangement for collection as a Category B infectious waste will be arranged.

What advice is given to those students and members of staff with asthma?

  • Staff and pupils should continue to manage their asthma in their usual way as well as observing all the other Covid-19 precautionary advice. This includes a requirement that all Asthma sufferers have their inhaler available at all times and particular attention paid to the stringent application of the 2-metre social distancing.
  • Where individual concerns exist (amongst students and staff) that may prevent a return to school, individual plans may be drawn up with Heads of Year (in the case of students) or with the Headteacher (in the case of staff).
  • The Government guidance states that children and teachers do not need to wear face coverings at school, but they are not prohibited. If a student or member of staff who suffers from asthma wishes to wear a face-covering then this is permissible. For some people with asthma, wearing a face-covering might not be easy. It could make it feel harder to breathe. The government has advised that people with respiratory conditions do not need to wear face coverings, so if the sufferer is finding it hard, then they don’t need to wear one.
  • Asthmas sufferers are not advised against the use of public transport but are reminded of the associated risks connected to surface transmission in public places. The Government are now recommending that people wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces, where social distancing may not be possible or they may come into contact with people they don’t normally meet. Examples of where this could happen are public transport and some shops.
  • Furthermore, they are advised to maintain their usual contact with their GP or medical specialist.
  • Further information may be found by clicking here.

What are the steps the school will take to safely reopen school?

  1. Carry out a comprehensive survey of every classroom to establish maximum capacity with 2-metre distancing.
  2. Determine teaching and associate staff available to work on-site.
  3. Communicate broad reopening plans to affected families and seek an indication of how likely they are to send their children back to school.
  4. Complete risk assessment based on all of the above.
  5. Secure approval of risk assessment and reopening plans amongst the Local Governing Body and the staff body.
  6. Communicate confirmed reopening plans to families.
  7. Provide risk assessment/reopening FAQs to families.
  8. Carry out adaptations to the site, including signage and markings.
  9. Complete all actions necessary prior to welcoming back students on-site (e.g. deep cleans and training of staff).
  10. Begin face-to-face learning on the school site.

How will the range of new health and safety measures be communicated to students, parents / carers and staff?

  • Students will take part in an induction session on their first return to the school that will summarise all of the new protocol and expectations, with an emphasis on explaining ‘why’ as much as ‘what’.
  • This will be reinforced each morning, at the start of each day, with a recap of those protocols and expectations. In addition, signage (e.g. one-way direction and 2-metre social distancing) will be in place and posters to remind students (and staff) of the measures in place to stay safe.
  • Parents and carers will have access to a web-based ‘Reopening FAQ’ page that will include every aspect of the risk assessment and related protocols/expectations. Parents and carers will be provided with a copy of the risk assessment on request. The web-based solution will enable the school to make more explicit any minor or major alternations to the risk assessment as and when circumstances change.
  • Weekly letters to families will reinforce awareness of the source of this information on or website and draw attention to major changes.
  • Staff will not return until they have participated in a carefully planned and delivered training session that will refer to all relevant aspects of the risk assessment and how their working practices must change during the first phase of reopening. Any changes to the risk assessment and related protocols will be communicated via a weekly bulletin to all staff.

How will the closure of school be communicated to parents and carers.

  • In most cases, the severe weather protocol would be used so that a combination of a website message and an InTouch email to all parents and carers would be issued in good time (i.e. before 7:30 am).
  • If the school was forced to close during the school day, and InTouch email would be sent that asked parents and carers to give permission for their child to walk home / be picked up.
  • Receipt of such replies would then lead to students being given individual permission to leave the site and go straight home.
  • Students in Year 7 to 11 would not be permitted to leave the school site (until the normal school closure time) without parents or carers being informed and providing permission.

What advice will be given to staff regarding clothing at work?

  • All staff should continue to adopt the professional dress code, even when students’ uniform expectations are relaxed.
  • However, all staff are advised to wear machine washable garments and wash their clothing at the highest temperatures permitted for each garment. Trailing garments (e.g. scarves, ties and loose cuffs) are not recommended.

Would we recommend that teachers avoid marking books at this stage to avoid surface transmission?

  • Surface transmission carries a risk of cross-contamination and all staff must remain mindful of this risk at all times.
  • However, stringent hand hygiene (carefully handwashing before and after contact in contamination with avoidance of touching face etc) reduces the risk of surface transmission.
  • Nevertheless, teachers should only collect and return work to students that are entirely necessary in order to maintain and uphold the school’s marking policy.
  • Furthermore, on-line and image-based submissions are preferable whenever practical in order to reduce further the risks associated with surface transmission.

How will students and staff be encouraged to dispose of tissues?

  • The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach is fundamental to the basic defence against contamination.
  • Each office and every classroom will be provided with a pedal bun that will be for the disposal of tissues. Students may dispose of their issues upon entering or leaving a classroom (they should not leave their seat to dispose of tissues) and us any of the bins that are in the school corridors or other spaces.
  • All bins are emptied each day but the special pedal bins for used tissues with be sprayed with disinfectant at the end of each school day as well.

What arrangements will be in place for the use of lifts? e.g. one person at a time maximum, will these need to be cleaned regularly also?

  • Lifts may only be used by one member of staff or a single student at any one time and only when it is entirely necessary to do so.
  • Lifts will be cleaned at the end of each school day.

What additional steps should staff take if they need to carry out a physical intervention with a student / students?

  • Physical contact between or physical intervention with a student or students carries with it a significantly increased risk of skin contact and the exchange of body fluids: particularly sweat, saliva and blood.
  • Students with a pattern or history of deviant behaviour will be invited back to school along with all other children but will require a meeting (telephone or video conference) with their parents or carers to summarise the expectations and rationale in advance of a return to school.
  • This will lead to the formulation, agreement and sharing of an individual risk assessment and behaviour contract.
  • Teachers or other staff are required to report any evidence of conflict between students, however minor, to a member of the Leadership Team, so that an assessment of risk may be conducted and a decision was taken to either return to class or to return home.
  • In the event that these measures fail to avoid the need for physical intervention, staff should follow the school’s Behaviour for Learning Policy (section 2), bearing in mind the need to balance the risks of physical contact against the risks of non-intervention. This includes the requirement that the incident must be recorded and held centrally, alongside an urgent meeting with parents/ carers to carry out an individual health and behaviour risk assessment.

How will the needs of staff with care roles (either young children or other persons whom they care for) be taken into account?

  • During Term 6 of the 2019/20 academic year, the reopening of Years 10 and 12 will means that there will be a high degree of flexibility to enable departments to work together to support one another’s childcare or other demands.
  • This means that it is not necessary for any member of staff to be compelled to work within the school building and they may instead take on a greater share of responsibilities that can be completed at home so that others in their team may work on the school site.

How have / are all children being safeguarded during the period of school closure?

  • Before schools were closed the Pastoral Team allocated students to be contacted daily, biweekly or weekly throughout the duration of the closure to ensure their wellbeing or safety was monitored and ensured. This register remains live and provides opportunities for names to be added where concerns arise. Students who do not engage in their home learning are initially flagged by their teachers and then their Heads of Department.  If, after a short period, there is a pattern of non-engagement across a range of subjects the student and family are contacted to ensure all is well at home and their name added to the contact register if it is deemed necessary. In addition, parents and carers have been able to refer concerns or problems directly to Heads of Year, Assistant Heads of Year, the SENDCo and members of the Leadership Team to seek support and action or attendance at the daily Learning Hub.

What will be done to help those children who have fallen behind in their GCSEs and A Levels during the lockdown?

  • Students in Year 10 and Year 12 will take part in a range of low and medium stakes assessments in both the late summer term and the new term in September.
  • This will help pinpoint students’ gaps in learning and inform decisions about topics that will need to be retaught or revisited.
  • More than ever before, students’ revision programmes in Years 11 and 13 will be extremely important to plug any gaps. The ‘Get Ahead’ programme (GAP) for Year 11 will be expanded and be introduced earlier than normal to accommodate this risk.
  • Furthermore, Year 13s will enjoy a similar launch of an A-Level GAP programme and benefit from a marked change in the supervision policy for all sixth form students to avoid any inefficient use of time during school hours.

Will taxis still be possible with the rules on social distancing?

  • In line with Government guidance, only taxis that can guarantee two-metre social distancing or have installed plastic screens between the driver and student will be approved or endorsed. Taxi sharing is not permissible if students are not from the same household

How do we know if school buses will be properly cleaned?

  • CNS will seek copies of the bus companies’ risk assessments before endorsing their usage amongst students to ensure that buses are adequately cleaned before and after their usage by students or members of the public.

What additional support will be provided for children returning to school with special educational needs and/or EHCPs?

  • Our Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) will run socially distant intervention sessions on a one-to-one or small group basis.
  • Currently, LSAs cannot be used in classrooms to support children given the restrictions on movement in the classroom.
  • Further information regarding the specific interventions for each student should be sought via the SENDCo.

How many people will be permitted in each office?

  • A member of the site team will visit each office and identify the maximum capacity for each space.
  • It will remain the responsibly of each member of staff to ensure this capacity is never breached and bring concerns to the immediate attention any member of the steering group without delay.

Is there anything else the school is considering offering for / to parents and carers who feel that their child is now disengaging from home learning but is not in Year 10 or Year 12?

  • We strongly encourage parents and carers in this situation to make direct contact with the respective Head of Years.
  • A wide range of options open to then explore, including more direct contact with each teacher on a daily basis. However, unless the child is vulnerable or the child of a key / critical worker then students in current Years 7, 8, 9 and 11 are not permitted in schools across the country at this time.

How would PE changing rooms be maintained as safe in terms of showering and social distancing?

  • The use of the PE changing rooms will be suspended until social distancing rules are ended or relaxed considerably.

Will students’ friendship circles be accommodated in classes?

  • Unfortunately, we cannot factor in preferred social arrangements but will, of course, look at and revise instances where a student is left feeling very isolated and unhappy. However, we shall ask students and families to understand the limitations such changes can have on our ability to create timetables.

Will there be any lunchtime or after school clubs or activities?

  • Neither lunchtime nor after school clubs will resume until September at the earliest.

Will the school still run detentions after school?

  • The vast majority of detentions arise from either the non-completion of homework or poor behaviours exhibited at break/lunchtime or in the corridors.
  • We anticipate that the reduction in social movement, combined with a common cause against wasting time amongst all students, will cause a sharp decline in the need for detentions.
  • Nevertheless, the use of detentions will be suspended because it places an additional and avoidable risk on students, staff and parents and carers.
  • Poor behaviour is therefore much more likely to result in immediate and direct telephone contact with parents and carers.
  • We shall develop our behaviour policy if, or when the level of needs and response become clearer over time.

Will any subjects be suspended or amended whilst COVID-19 remains a risk to students and staff?

  • Government guidance has made it very clear that “No school will be penalised if they are unable to offer a broad and balanced curriculum to their pupils during this period.”
  • This reflects the risks associated with particular subjects and activities that present greater challenges and risks concerning social distancing and an increased risk of injury.
  • The school will aim to maintain its broad and balanced curriculum but not at the expense of the health and safety of students and staff.
  • During any reopening of the school to Years 10 and 12 students in Term 6, there will be no PE, drama, dance or music practical lessons.
  • Scientific experiments are permitted as long as additional risk assessments are produced that address the risk of breaches in social distancing.

Will the rules around mobile phones be changed?

  • Students and families will be aware that mobile phones are not ‘banned’ at CNS and are permitted to be used if the learning is significantly enhanced by their usage (and permission is granted by the Leadership Team).
  • We envisage that during the initial phases of reopening there will be an advantage to students having their smartphones charged and available to use.
  • Students are not permitted to charge their phones whilst on the site.
  • Students will be able to link to the school’s Wi-Fi connection.
  • The school cannot, however, take any responsibility or admit any liability for loss or damage.
  • Therefore, students’ learning will never be wholly dependent on the possession of a mobile phone.

Will there be any changes to school uniform? Including sports kits?

  • Students in Year 10 will not be required to wear their school uniform until September 2020.
  • Students in Years 7 to 11 will be expected to wear the normal school uniform and sports kits from September 2020.

Will the home learning arrangements for Years 7, 8 and 9 students change between now and July?

  • At this moment in time, there is no reason to believe that the Government will encourage schools to reopen for students in Years 7 to 9.
  • This, of course, does not relate to vulnerable children and children of key / critical workers who have been entitled to a place at school since 23 March 2020.

Should my children bring in their own tissues, hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes?

  • This is not required but a sensible measure nonetheless.

Will the GCSE and A-Level examinations go ahead as normal in 2021?

At this moment in time, there is no reason to believe next year’s examination series will be affected or that the means of examining/assessing young people will change.

Will library, text books and equipment be cleaned after a student has touched them?

Library:

  • Non-contact/visual book/resource browsing will be permitted, but any books that are touched (whether they are loaned or not) must be placed aside for 72 hours to minimise the risk of surface transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Books may be loaned but will be set aside for at least 72 hours between loans in order to reduce the risk of surface transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Library PCs will be available but users will be seated 2 metres apart and be required to sanitise their hands before and after using the keyboard. Library staff will wipe down the keyboard and mouse with alcohol-based wipes after each usage and dispose of the wipes safely.
  • The library staff will also wipe down the desk of each student that has used a library desk before another student is permitted to use that space.

 

Other Equipment:

All other essential equipment (e.g. compass, protractor, ruler, scientific apparatus) may be distributed, used and then returned by students as long as (a) good hand hygiene is observed before and after usage and (b) equipment is wiped down with alcohol-based wipes afterwards, or left untouched for a period of at least three days.

Will the library be accessible to students?

  • Yes, the library will reopen and operate a one-way system with reduced seating capacity and clear marking to ensure safe distancing from the library staff.
  • Students will be strongly encouraged to use the online booking system for books or other resources. Arrangements will be made to have loaned resources made available for collection.
  • Non-contact/visual book/resource browsing will be permitted, but any books that are touched (whether they are loaned or not) must be placed aside for 72 hours to minimise the risk fo surface transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Library PCs will be available but users will be seated 2 metres apart and be required to sanitise their hands before and after using the keyboard. Library staff will wipe down the keyboard and mouse with alcohol-based wipes after each usage and dispose of the wipes safely.
  • The library staff will also wipe down the desk of each student that has used a library desk before another student is permitted to use that space.
  • No eating may take place in the library.

Will physical assemblies still take place?

No. For the foreseeable future, assemblies or other large gatherings of students and staff will be suspended.

How will teaching assistants /learning support assistants be used if social distancing is enforced?

Our Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) will run socially distant intervention sessions on a one-to-one or small group basis. LSAs cannot be used in classrooms to support children given the restrictions on movement in the classroom.

Can the school provide a guarantee that every student will be kept socially distant?

No. But by applying the principle set out in the school’s risk assessment and by continuing to work and learn together, we can reduce this risk but the risk can never be entirely removed in any social setting, particularly in a school.

When should our children and household self-isolate?

  • Whether a child (or member of staff) is sent home with COVID-19 symptoms or develop symptoms at home, an immediate test should be booked by the parent or carer by following this link or by copying this address into a browser: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-COVID-19/
  • If the test is positive then they should begin a period of isolation for seven days (along with members of their household).
  • Please note precise guidance on this from Public Health England by clicking here.
  • Meanwhile and without delay, the school shall make contact with the PHE South East Health Protection Team (SE HPT) and seek advice on whether to advise the student’s classmates and teachers to self-isolate. Assuming strong social distancing and hygiene has been in place, it is likely that students will not be encouraged or required to self-isolate.

What part will contact tracing play when schools reopen?

  • Once the Government’s national test and trace programme is up and running it is likely to add greater confidence amongst families and staff with regards to the risks associated with the reopening of schools.

Should children who live with vulnerable adults attend school?

  • Department of Education guidance states that “If a child, young person or staff member lives in a household with someone who is ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’, it is advised they only attend an education or childcare setting if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and, in the case of children, they are able to understand and follow those instructions.” Furthermore, “If a child, young person or a member of staff lives with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable), including those who are pregnant, they can attend their education or childcare setting.”

Will vulnerable staff be required to attend work?

  • School staff who are defined as being ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ (those with serious underlying health conditions which put them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus and have been advised by their clinician or through a letter), will not attend work and will instead be encouraged to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe and then return to work when medical advice deems it safe to do so.
  • Meanwhile, ‘clinically vulnerable individuals’ who are at higher risk of severe illness (for example, people with some pre-existing conditions) are advised to take extra care in observing social distancing and will be supported to work from home wherever possible. For example, carrying out a lead role on home learning, lesson planning or curriculum development activities on behalf of their colleagues. Where working from home is not possible or feasible then a more socially isolated place of work with secure entry and exit points will be sought and agreed with the employee.

Will students or staff be expected or encouraged to wear PPE such as face masks?

  • CNS is adopting the Department for Education’s guidance that states: “Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended.
  • Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in some shops.
  • This does not apply to schools or other education settings. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus”.
  • Exceptions to this may apply to cleaning staff, when members of staff act as First Aiders, or when we directly supervise students who display any of the COVID-19 symptoms.

Are children now expected or encouraged to walk or cycle to school?

  • Government guidance has made it very clear and stated that “Parents, children and young people should be encouraged to walk or cycle where possible, and avoid public transport at peak times.”
  • Parents and carers should also refer to the guidance on safe travel, particularly on public transport.
  • Given the school’s location, we do not encourage students to cycle to school because:
  • (a) students have not been able to access a cycling proficiency test or a roadworthy bike test;
  • (b) we do not have adequate storage facilities;
  • (c) students ought to walk to school if they live within the town itself to reduce the risks of road traffic accidents or endangering pedestrians through misuse of pavements as cycle lanes and
  • (d) students living outside the town are placed at significant additional risks of cycling to school from other road users.

Can students or their parents/carers be tested for the COVID-19 virus?

Can members of staff be tested for the COVID-19 virus with or without displaying any symptoms?

How will the school seek to reduce the risk of staff injury on site?

  • In order to reduce the risk of unnecessary pressure on local or regional NHS services, any unnecessary working at heights tasks during the COVID-19 period will be halted.

Will the heightened levels of cleaning and use of chemicals add further risks and dangers?

  • This is a risk that can be avoided through careful management of our cleaning protocols to ensure that chemicals are not left unattended and that trip or slip hazards are removed or addressed immediately.
  • All cleaning undertaken by school cleaners or external contractors will be monitored rigorously. In-house cleaning teams will wear PPE such as nitrile gloves and masks if dealing with a source of potential contamination.
  • If an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids (from a person with or without symptoms of COVID-19), there must be eye, mouth and nose protection, in addition to wearing an apron.
  • Cleaners must wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20+ seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning.
  • Cleaners and site staff must wash their clothes and overalls every day on the hottest temperature setting that the uniform allows without damaging it.

Will the day-to-day emphasis on reopening the school lead to the neglect of important safeguarding policies and procedures?

  • Key members of staff (for example the Deputy Head/DSL, Heads of Year, Assistant Heads of Year, Nurture Team, Learning Support staff, Attendance Lead, SENDCo and Family Support Worker) will continue to monitor the attendance, behaviour, wellbeing and safety of all children.
  • Whilst attendance amongst all students will continue to be atypical, historic and more recent patterns in student disengagement alongside attendance levels will help determine the most vulnerable children and families.

Will the day-to-day emphasis on cleaning the site lead to the neglect of important health and safety controls and checks?

  • Daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly and annual checks will continue as normal throughout.
  • All checks are logged and reported to the Governors’ Resources Committee five times per year.

What provision is in place for members of staff who are pregnant or suspect that they may be pregnant?

  • The school will remain fully observant and supportive of all measures to support vulnerable workers, including pregnant colleagues.
  • CNS fully supports the advice and guidance provided by the NHS and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
  • Members of staff who are pregnant or suspect that they might be pregnant are not instructed or advised to shield / self-isolate or work from home, but should socially distance in the first and second trimester and work at home if possible in the third trimester.
  • However, colleagues in this category will not be expected to return to work on-site during June and July 2020 and instead, individuals may choose to be on-site or to work from home.

What if a member of staff is identified as vulnerable, are they expected to attend work as normal?

  • The school will remain fully observant and supportive of all measures to support vulnerable workers.
  • A blanket approach will not be adopted or assumptions made that certain categories of employees will or will not be able to work and instead, individual risk assessments will be carried out along with each employee to ensure the safety and wellbeing is maintained at all times.
  • These risk assessments may lead to working from the home agreement or more bespoke amendments to their working environment.

Can the school minibus be used to transport children to and from school?

  • In ensuring the 2-metre rule is observed the use of the minibus is not practical, nor is there sufficient staff capacity to justify its usage for such a limited purpose.

How will staff park their vehicles?

  • Those staff unable to walk or cycle to work will be able to use the normally designated parking bays as long as all cars are pointing in the same direction and therefore facilitate 2-metre social distancing as the avoidance of accidental social contact.
  • All vehicles must be parked in such a way as to be able to drive straight off the site without needing to reverse.

How will staff and students move around the school?

  • Measures will be in place to limit the necessity to move around the site and in any case supervision of students will be in place at all times.
  • A one-way system will operate and must be adhered to, even when it leads to what can appear to be irrationally long journeys between rooms. Posters, stickers and floor signs will indicate the direction of travel and be reinforced through higher levels of supervision. Loitering amongst students is not permitted.
  • If necessary, staff may speak to colleagues in corridors as long as 2-metre social distancing can be ensured and they do not prevent other students or members of staff from accessing the space.

How many children will be permitted in a class?

  • The numbers permitted in a classroom will depend on the size of each classroom and the requirement to ensure 2 metres distance between every student and member of staff. This means that class sizes will have to remain very small (5-15) in comparison to normal levels (20-30).
  • Larger places will be used to facilitate larger class teaching, for instance, the Main Hall (x 42 desks), gymnasium (x 30 desks), lecture theatre (x 30 seats) and, when and if available, the Leisure Centre’s sports hall (x 112 desks).
  • In preparation for the reopening of school, each classroom will be individually assessed so that a precise capacity for each classroom/learning space is known and shared with all staff.
  • Meanwhile, desks (and flor spaces) will be marked with masking tape to indicate where students may and may not sit with excess chairs being clearly stowed (and cable tied) in the corner of each room to reinforce the social distancing messages and avoid accidental overcrowding.
  • Students and classrooms must be supervised by a member of staff at all times. Each room will have a laminated poster attached to the door and clearly state the maximum room capacity of that space and a reminder that students must remain seated throughout their lesson and not make any attempt to rearrange desks.

Will visitors be allowed on site?

  • Essential building or maintenance work (including grounds maintenance) will be permitted with the prior agreement and knowledge of the Site Manager.
  • All contractors must provide their own COVID-19 risk assessment method statements (RAMS) that have to be approved by the CNS Site Manager or his Deputy. In addition, our own ‘pre works agreement’ form that contractors must already sign will be updated to include a notice to maintain the 2-metre rule, wear suitable PPE and ensure suitable safeguarding arrangements for their co-workers.
  • Areas used by contractors will be thoroughly cleaned when they leave the site.
  • Failure to adhere to any of these provisions will result in the contractors being required to leave the site.
  • Deliveries will be strongly discouraged during school opening hours and prohibited between the hours of 0800 and 0900 and again between 1430 and 1600.
  • Impromptu visits will not be permitted for the foreseeable future and may only take place in exceptional circumstances. Parents, carers or any other visitors will not be granted access to Main Reception unless (a) this has been agreed in advance by a member of the Leadership Team and (b) they are exceptional circumstances (e.g. those that relate to safeguarding and student welfare).
  • Telephone and video conferencing remain available on request by either phoning the main reception or emailing the member of staff directly to request an appointment.
  • We ask that all parents and carers understand that it is most unlikely that staff will be free to call back during school hours and that it may be as long as 48 hours before a conversation may take place. We ask that parents and carers consider whether a telephone call is necessary or whether an email exchange would suffice in the interests of time management and swift communication. Emergency / urgent communication and issues will, of course, be prioritised and acted upon within an appropriate timeframe.

How will students eat their snacks or lunch?

  • For the foreseeable future, students will be required to bring a healthy and nutritious packed lunch into school – their lunch must be kept in a sealed container.
  • Packed lunches may not include sugary/fizzy drinks, sweets or large portions of crisps or chocolate bars. We ask parents and carers to apply common sense in this regard and be mindful of the added problems associated with sugary diets on concentration and hyperactivity and contradicting our joint goal to return to normal school life.
  • Students must also bring a supply of water for the day and not rely on being able to top up their water bottles throughout the day. Packed lunches will be eaten in a designated classroom at a designated time.
  • Students will be required to wash their hands (most likely with hand sanitiser) before and after their lunch. Students will be permitted to eat snacks during the other breaks explicitly set aside – but only when seated and when given explicit permission by a member of staff.
  • Following the departure of each child from the classroom, each desk will be sanitised with an appropriate spray and then wiped down.
  • Students are required to take all food waste and packaging home with them each day and dispose of when they arrive home. This vastly reduces the pressure on the cleaners and site staff to check sort and empty bins.

Will free school meal vouchers still be provided to families?

  • As schools partially reopen, a free school meal must be made available to all eligible students on site.
  • Meanwhile, the Government Voucher Scheme will continue to operate for all families, irrespective of whether or not one or more of their children has returned to school

Will the canteen be open and providing food?

  • The canteen is operated by Caterlink and is, therefore, a separate company with its own strict health and safety policy and associated risk assessments relating to social distancing and food preparation.
  • A copy of their risk assessment is available on request by contacting Louise Trimmer, the CNS School Business Manager. Social distancing rules may impede their normal volume of food provision but the greater challenge will be in how to overcome the suspension of queues. In order to return to normal there will be a phased reopening based on (a) canteen staffing capacity, (b) deep clean of the food preparation area, (c) completion of all maintenance and compliance checks, (d) logistical capacity of the school to provide spaces for students to queue and eat safely.
  • Phase 1: Canteen open but providing packed lunches for students eligible for a free school meal only. Their packed lunch will be hand-delivered or made available in discreet locations to avoid stigmatisation.
  • Phase 2: As Phase 1 but enabling all other students to indicate if they wish to purchase a packed lunch as they arrive at school. At this point, all the packed lunch will be hand-delivered.
  • Phase 3: Canteen providing packed lunches or a sit down hot meal. Students will be required to wash their hands before and after they eat and will sit two metres apart. Food will be served in accordance with Caterlink’s risk assessments and protocols to comply with social distancing requirements.
  • Phase 4: Canteen will combine all of the above with the commencement of small and carefully managed/ supervised queues. Students would be required to wash their hands before and after they eat, and be seated in clearly marked spaces that are 2 metres distant from other students.
  • Phase 5: Return to normal service, but with a permanent emphasis on handwashing before and after eating.

What will happen if a student is unable to manage or cope with the heightened restrictions on movement and social interaction?

  • We wish to avoid students becoming upset or at risk of being sent home at all times.
  • Therefore, the school will seek to provide (subject to staff availability) a separate room for those students who would prefer to work separately and still be supervised and guided by a member of staff.
  • This could operate for a limited or more extended duration in order to assist in the transition back to normal school life and expectations following a long period of school closure and home learning.

What will happen if a student refuses to follow the health and safety requirements whilst on site?

  • Students with a pattern or history of deviant behaviour will be invited back to school along with all other children but will require a pre-meeting (telephone or video conference) with their parents or carers to summarise the expectations and rationale in advance of a return to school. This will lead to the formulation, agreement and sharing of an individual risk assessment and behaviour contract.
  • Children who exhibit potentially dangerous behaviour by refusing to self-isolate, socially distance or decide to wander about, cannot remain in school and will, for the protection of themselves and others, be sent home until such point that we can be confident of their willingness or ability to act in a safe manner at all times. There will be no presumption around whether they are unwilling or unable to respect those rules and a pragmatic yet compassionate response will be adopted.

How will students leave the school building at the end of the school day?

  • In carefully staggered departures, students will be escorted by a member of staff along with the one-way system and exit via the Old Entrance.
  • No other exits will be made available to students (unless in the event of an emergency) so that social distancing is not compromised and supervision remains very high.
  • Once escorted off the car park next to the Main Hall, students will then walk home, alight a school bus, wait for public transport, or be collected by a parent or carer.

How will students enter the school building at the start of the school day?

  • Students should not arrive and seek entry to the school building until 8:15 am each morning.
  • If students arrive earlier than 8:15 am it reduces our supervisory capacity and risks students being unattended and social distancing rules being compromised.
  • Upon arrival, all students will be directed through the Old Entrance by the Main Hall – no other entry points will be made available to students (unless in the event of an emergency) so that social distancing is not compromised and supervision remains very high.
  • Once through the doors, students will follow a clearly marked one-way system to their place of learning.

Are students allowed to use local shops before or after school?

  • This is a matter for families to decide.
  • We are all advised to use shops as infrequently as possible and therefore families are strongly encouraged to ensure that packed lunch items are provided without the need for the student to purchase items on the way to (or from school).
  • Nevertheless, this is a matter beyond the remit of the school.

How will I drop-off and pick-up my children?

  • There is no doubt that this will be a significant challenge for us all and may lead to some initial delays or problems that are caused by our desire to avoid any road traffic accidents or collisions.
  • In the morning, cars will be directed around a one-way system with clearly marked drop off spaces, after which parents and carers must leave the site without delay and not seek to engage in conversations with members of staff or other road users.
  • In the afternoon, the site does not lend itself to a pick-up system and therefore students will be required to walk to an agreed spot to meet their parent or carer. Parents and carers might consider parking (whilst waiting inside their car) in the Leisure Centre car park assuming spaces are available.
  • Once the student leaves the site the degree of supervision will inevitably lessen and we will, therefore, rely entirely on students to respect social distancing rules.

Can families car share and take one another’s children to school?

  • In line with Government guidance, families are strongly advised to avoid car journeys that include members of other households.
  • This (Government) advice may change in time but the 2 metres social distancing rule means that car sharing is not possible.
  • See question and answer with regards to school minibuses and taxis.

Who will be granted access to buses in the event of them being restricted from full/normal occupancy?

  • School buses and public transport are likely to operate a normal timetable but with restricted passenger numbers (perhaps 20-30% capacity) in order to guarantee social distancing.
  • We envisage a first come first served approach will operate on public transport (over which CNS has no influence), but we shall operate priority boarding for school buses based on those students whose parents and carers have no other means to send their children to school or collect them each day.
  • Parents or carers who wish to have their children entered on to that priority list will need to submit an application declaring their need, and assuming the numbers are manageable, will be placed on that priority list.
  • All other students will have to rely on their family to take them to and from school until social distancing rules are relaxed or withdrawn.
  • From 15 June, the Government has made the wearing of face coverings on all forms of public transport mandatory.

How will the social and emotional impact of the virus and school closure on staff be addressed when they return to school?

  • The school acknowledges that the impact of the virus and school closure will have affected staff in very different ways. Some will have been unaffected and will have few if any problems readjusting after the first few days. Others, perhaps those who have experienced bereavement or felt the effects of social isolation more severely, may take longer to adjust and experience a wide array of emotions that they also struggle to understand or express.
  • It must be remembered that teachers and all other staff will be required to work in very unusual and challenging circumstances and cope with a level of uncertainty and demand hitherto unseen in schools.
  • The success of the reopening of our school and the speed with which we can return to a new normal depends on how successfully members of staff manage throughout the period of transition.
  • All staff are welcome to access a confidential ‘Employees Assistance’ programme for counselling support and are and will continue to be regularly surveyed or asked about the impact of decision-making and whether or not to adapt, amend or scrap plans that are in place in order to achieve a successful reopening of the school.
  • The school has a staff wellbeing lead who can work with union representatives and the Headteacher to ensure there is a smooth an constant flow of information and feedback to the Leadership Team and therefore remain in touch with how decisions are affecting colleagues and also students.
  • A culture of openness, transparency and a willingness to reconsider decisions made in the past will continue to determine the culture at the school.

How will the social and emotional impact of the virus and school closure on students be addressed when they return to school?

  • The school acknowledges that the impact of the virus and school closure will have affected students in very different ways. Some will have been unaffected and will have few, if any, problems readjusting after the first few days. Others, perhaps those who have experienced bereavement or felt the effects of social isolation more severely, may take much longer to adjust and experience a wide array of emotions that they struggle to understand or express. This may result in challenging behaviours that disrupt their own or others’ learning or indeed comprise the health and safety provisions at the school.
  • Each child will be supported on a case-by-case basis and agreement reached with the student and their family on the most appropriate course of action including a staggering reintroduction to school life or accessing internal support services.
  • Where problems persist or are more severe, referrals to the family GP or CAMHS could be considered if all parties felt that this was appropriate.
  • More broadly, the fortnightly Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons will be focussed on appropriate responses to the virus and its impact throughout the first phase of school reopening.
  • The current Behaviour for Learning Policy remains fit for purpose because it retains sufficient flexibility to exercise common sense, mitigation and discretion in the event of challenging or uncharacteristic behaviours.

How will fire safety, evacuation and lockdown procedures be amended?

Evacuation:

  • Termly evacuation drills will be suspended for the duration of the gradual reopening of school but no later than December 2020 and only then with notice provided to all staff on-site to avoid unnecessary alarm or panic.
  • Evacuation procedures will remain unchanged during any period of partial reopening. This means that if the alarm sounds then a presumption of there being a genuine emergency must be assumed by staff and students. In this context, the one-way system is to be ignored and all those on-site should follow the existing evacuation procedures and leave by the building by the most convenient external door. Social distancing should be encouraged but not at the expense of evacuating the site in an orderly and swift manner.
  • All staff reopening training will include instructions on how their role in personally escorting and supervising all students in their care during an evacuation of the school site.
  • Students and staff will no longer muster or register on the all-weather surface pitch and will instead walk out to the temporary muster points on the sports field that facilitate 2-metre social distancing and orderly registration.
  • Normal fire bell testing and related maintenance checks will continue as normal each Friday afternoon by the Site Team.

 

Lockdown:

  • Annual lockdown drills (i.e. practices) will be suspended until social distancing rules are relaxed, but no later than June 2021.
  • In the event of the emergency lockdown warning bells sounding, all staff and students should presume that a genuine situation is suspected or has arisen.

In such circumstances, all staff and students should follow the existing lockdown procedure and ignore social distancing rules if the 2-metre distance cannot be maintained.

How will staff be made aware of all of the new health and safety requirements?

  • In advance of the school reopening there will be a training session to ensure that all members of staff are (a) fully training in all of the updated risk assessment measures, (b) reminded of existing heath and safety measures, (c) consider all practical implications with regards to the resumption of teaching and (d) prepare the classrooms and other spaces for lessons to commence.
  • Staff who are unable to attend this training will receive a similar induction before they are permitted to return to work.
  • Following generic training each member of staff will be given an opportunity to discuss any specific, unique or unforeseen risks associated with in their workplace or responsibilities.
  • All changes to the risk assessment and related procedures will be communicated by (a) email and (b) personal contact (i.e. face to face, staff briefing, online and face-to-face meetings or telephone calls) as and when appropriate.
  • Furthermore, a weekly health and safety bulletin will be emailed to all staff and a hard copy provided to those members of staff whose use of email is infrequently used or request a paper copy.
  • A log of staff training will be kept by NH (DHT).

How will staff be protected from contracting the virus from parents, carers and visitors?

  • Face-to-face meetings may only take place under exceptional circumstances and with the prior agreement of a member of the Leadership Team.
  • All meetings with parents, carers or other visitors must take place by telephone or video conference (ideally Google Hangouts to reduce associated safeguarding risks of video conferencing).
  • Should a face-to-face meeting take place then 2 metre social distancing will be applied in a clearly marked room to separate all parties present.
  • Key surfaces (handles, chairs and desks) will be disinfected before and after by a member of the site or cleaning team.

How will staff be protected from contracting the virus from students?

  • Teaching staff will remain at or near their desk or whiteboard/smartboard – ensuring that the 2-metre social distancing is enforced at all times.
  • Normal classroom activities that include a moderate level of risk (use of sharp implements or scientific experiments, for instance) will be suspended or greatly limited to reduce the risk of injury or the need for close proximity in the event of an accident.
  • Unless it is a dire emergency, a First Aider will be called to an incident using the member of staff’s personal mobile phone. If staff do not possess a mobile phone or work from an area with a weak signal they may request a walkie-talkie instead. Staff are strongly encouraged to ensure their mobile phone is charged at all times.
  • Consideration will be given to staff who are in one of the vulnerable categories, to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place in accordance with the latest guidance.

How will staff be protected from contracting the virus from co-workers?

  • Starting with the basics of good respiratory hygiene (i.e. the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach), common contact points (doors, handles, balustrades) will be disinfected at the start, middle and end of each school day. If staffing numbers permit then a roaming clean will be used to focus on those common contact points.
  • Face-to-face meetings of staff may only continue with the agreement of the Leadership Team and only when socially distant precautions can be guaranteed. Online meetings are strongly encouraged whenever possible.
  • Staff social areas (e.g. the seating or dining areas within the main staffroom) will be closed until further notice and only accessed for the purposes of retrieving post and using the toilet facilities.
  • Post will be delivered by associate staff to staff pigeon holes (only) and those delivering will wear protective gloves when handling internal mail or delivered mail.
  • Staff will be strongly encouraged to wash their hands regularly with soap and running water (20 seconds+) throughout the day or to use hand sanitiser.
  • The dining areas and cushioned chairs in the staffroom will not be available for socialising or any other use beyond the collection of mail and internal post.
  • All staff are very strongly encouraged to provide their own hot drinks in secure flasks, along with their own packed lunch in a secure container.
  • Small kitchenettes may be used by one person at a time to retrieve items from the refrigerator or use the microwave. If hot drinks are made then they should not be made for others and only for personal consumption. Personal cutlery, plates and mugs/cups are strongly recommended.
  • Departmental workrooms may only be used if the two-metre distancing can apply. Staff who move from one classroom to another must ensure that they adopt strict hand hygiene by washing hands before entering the other classroom.
  • If a member of staff touches any surfaces (door, handles etc) during transfer, further hand washing or sanitising is required.
  • Consideration must be given to staff who are in one of the vulnerable categories, to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place in accordance with the latest guidance.

How will students access the toilets?

  • Toilets will be supervised at all times and may only be used by up to two students at any one time.
  • Neighbouring cubicles or shared use of urinals will not be permitted and signage applied accordingly.
  • Students wishing to use the toilet will be directly supervised as they are lined up outside the toilets (2 metres apart) and be required to wash their hands before and after using the toilet facilities.
  • Students will be instructed to close the lid before flushing wherever possible and then expected to wash their hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds after using the toilet and will then be given hand sanitiser to apply when they leave the toilets as well. (Staff will not supervise any students whilst inside the toilet area itself).
  • Students may not leave their lesson to go to the toilet unless there are exceptional circumstances and only then if a member of staff can be found to escort the student during lessons.
  • There will be a short break between all lessons to allow students to use the toilet and not have to wait several hours for the next opportunity.
  • The toilets will be restocked and cleaned thoroughly before and after the school day and at least twice during the school day itself (approximately 11 am and 1 pm).
  • Records of when the toilets are cleaned and by whom will be kept and monitored by the Site Manager.
  • The contactless hot air dryers will be operational but students will also have access to paper towels as well.

Will hand sanitiser be freely available?

  • Alcohol based hand sanitiser will be provided for use amongst students and staff to maintain high levels of hygiene.
  • It will be available in all classrooms and in all toilets. However, their use in or near open flames (e.g. science laboratories, food technology or design and technology) is prohibited and therefore soap and warm water hand washing is required and similarly effective.
  • Appropriate hand soap dispensers and/or non-alcohol based sanitiser will be provided in all such locations.

How will students be protected from contracting the virus from other students or members of staff?

  • Parents and carers will be regularly reminded that they must not, under any circumstances, send their children into school if they are displaying any of the listed symptoms of COVID-19 – to do so is to place their own child, others’ children and members of staff at increased and unnecessary levels of risk.
  • Starting with the basics of good respiratory hygiene (i.e. the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach), all common contact points (doors, handles, balustrades) will be disinfected at the start, middle and end of each school day.
  • Students will move around the school and be seated in classrooms with 2 metres social distance at all times.
  • Please note the other provisions with regards to toileting, one way systems, lunch queues/packed lunches.

Will children and staff be placed at greater risk as a result of the increased use of chemicals for cleaning and disinfectant purposes.

  • The control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) assessments will be regularly reviewed to avoid unnecessary or excessive chemical usage or residue left behind on surfaces.
  • Cleaning products will not be sprayed or applied within the close proximity of children or staff.
  • Areas will be ventilated wherever possible. Neutral scents will be used wherever possible to address hypersensitivity amongst students and staff.
  • No chemical or cleaning products will be left unattended. All teachers and teaching staff to be vigilant on the disposal of cleaning products and general waste, including tissues.

What happens if a teacher of member of staff becomes ill during the school day?

  • All staff will be trained to notify a member of the Leadership Team and leave the site at the earliest available opportunity and commence working from home if they are able to do so.
  • If there is capacity then a substitute member of staff will supervise students as they complete an independent study. If there is not capacity the class will be escorted to a suitable socially distant silent study environment.
  • Members of staff (or a close relative) are then asked to contact the school and advise the school of the outcome in order to plan curriculum delivery going forward.
  • When a member of staff goes home with COVID-19 symptoms or develop symptoms at home, an immediate test should be booked by following this link or by copying this address into a browser: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-COVID-19/
  • Depending on the outcome of this test, the member of staff may either return to school if they test positive and feel better, or begin a period of isolation at home for 7 days from when symptoms started. The rest of their household needs to isolate for 14 days. Please note precise guidance on this from Public Health England by clicking here.

What if a child reports feeling ill or has an injury?

  • A designated First Aid trained member of staff will attend the student directly.
  • A fluid-resistant surgical face mask will be worn by the First Aider if a distance of 2m cannot be maintained.
  • If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask or protective helmet/visor will be worn by the First Aider.
  • If a child is COVID-19 symptomatic then eye protection must be worn.
  • The First Aider will carry out triage before deciding on the appropriate course of action.
  • If necessary, the child will be isolated in a specially identified room (for non-COVID-19 symptomatic students) with exclusive toilet facilities. He or she will wait until a parent or carer arrives to personally collect.
  • The child may return later that day or thereafter if the parent or carer wishes.
  • The room and toilet will be cleaned after each and every usage and every day in any case.

How will the school ensure that the entire school site is clean and ready to use and not just the area in The Learning Hub/Sixth Form Centre?

  • All classrooms unused throughout the period of school closure will be dusted and vacuumed before being used again. Desks and chairs will be sprayed with disinfectant and wiped down.
  • Other identified areas (e.g. food rooms) will be deep cleaned on a room-by-room basis and therefore avoid unnecessary deep cleaning that is excessive or distracting from the core goals to maintain a safe and clean site.
  • In advance of the entire site reopening, there will be safety and compliance checks undertaken on hot and cold water systems, gas safety, fire safety, kitchen equipment, security including access control and intruder alarm systems and ventilation.
  • All such works are routine and regularly reviewed by the Governors’ Resources Committee and in accordance with Government advice.

What if a student presents with COVID-19 symptoms at any point during the school day?

  • In the absence of medical experts on site, students displaying any listed symptoms will be isolated in a specially identified room with exclusive toilet facilities.
  • He or she will wait until a parent or carer arrives to be personally collected.
  • The room and toilet will be cleaned after each usage and every day in any case.
  • An immediate test should then be booked by the parent or carer by following this link or by copying this address into a browser: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-COVID-19/.
  • If the test is negative and they feel better, they may return to school immediately.
  • If the test is positive then they should begin a period of isolation for seven days (along with members of their household).

What if a child is unwell (a non COVID-19 illness)?

  • If a child is unwell (non-COVID-19 related) then he or she should report their absence in the normal way and log onto ‘Show My Homework’ to complete the work set by teaching staff, if they are well enough to do so.
  • Throughout the course of their absence, he or she should report their daily absence in the normal way and log onto ‘Show My Homework’ to complete the work set by teaching staff, if they are well enough to do so.

Should my child attend school?

  • No one with symptoms of COVID-19 should attend CNS for any reason.
  • Eligible children – including priority groups – are strongly encouraged to attend their education setting, unless they are self-isolating or they are clinically vulnerable (in which case they should follow medical advice).
  • If someone in their household is extremely clinically vulnerable, they should only attend if stringent social distancing can be adhered to, and the child is able to understand and follow those instructions.
  • Families should notify the Attendance Officer (Linda Cox) if their child is unable to attend so that staff can explore the reason with them and address any barriers together.
  • Parents and carers will not be fined for non-attendance at this time, and schools and colleges will not be held to account for attendance levels.
  • Schools and colleges should continue to inform social workers where children with a social worker do not attend school.

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