The Department for Education has made clear that all students must resume regular attendance at school:
It is vital that children and young people return to school and college, for their educational progress, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development. School attendance will be mandatory from the beginning of the new academic year. This means that it is your legal duty as a parent to send your child to school regularly. (Department for Education, August 2020)
To ensure that the academy is a ‘Covid secure’ environment, we have implemented the following measures:
- Staff and students received a comprehensive induction about procedures and expectations at the start of term. The start of term was staggered in order to facilitate this.
- Students have been placed into year group ‘bubbles’ and have no more than transitory, passing contact with students from other year groups. Each year group is taught in designated year group zones for the majority of lessons.
- Upon arrival at school, students sanitise their hands, line up in the playground in their tutor groups and are escorted into the building by their teachers.
- Break time and lunchtime are staggered. Each year group has an allocated zone in the playground. There is no canteen service at break time. At lunchtime, students are rotated through the canteen in their year groups and are directed where to sit by a member of staff.
- Students have regular opportunities throughout the day to wash and/or sanitise their hands. Hand sanitiser is available throughout the building.
- An enhanced cleaning schedule is in place to ensure that canteen tables, toilets, classrooms and subject specialist equipment are cleaned between use by different year groups.
- Face coverings should be worn by staff, students and visitors when moving around indoors, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. However, face coverings should not be worn in classrooms, as they may inhibit teaching and learning. When face masks are worn, they must cover both the nose and mouth. Students can choose to wear a disposal mask or a reusable mask, but the latter should be plain coloured and not overly-styled.
Pupils, staff and other adults must not come into the school if they have coronavirus symptoms, or have tested positive in at least the last 10 days. Coronavirus symptoms include:
- a new and persistent cough
- a high temperature,
- a loss of, or change in, the normal sense of taste or smell
Anyone that develops these symptoms during the school day will be sent home and will be advised to self-isolate for at least 10 days and to arrange a test to see if they have coronavirus. All other members of the academy community can continue to attend school as normal, unless:
- they develop symptoms themselves
- somebody in their household develops symptoms.
- they have been informed by NHS Track and Trace that they are a ‘close contact’ of somebody who has tested positive
Travelling to and from school
We encourage as many students as possible to walk to school. Not only is this good for one’s health, it also frees up space on public transport for other people who need it. Bicycle racks are available for students who choose to cycle in. These students must also bring a bicycle lock. If students have no choice other than to use public transport, we recommend that they allow plenty of time for their journey, as buses and trains are likely to be very busy, some may not stop and some may be severely delayed. Face coverings must be worn on public transport.