Control Measures and Risk Assessment
Reducing the Risk of Infection at Prince Henry’s
The government has provided updated guidance for school-based provision from September 2021 (available here). We have followed this guidance to review the control measures which we had already implemented to reduce the risk of infection at Prince Henry’s.
As the guidance says, this marks a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic, moving away from stringent restrictions, towards treating COVID-19 as a virus that we learn to live with. Most people recognise that there is now an imperative to reduce the disruption to children and the negative impact this has on children’s education and well-being.
There are, however, a range of risk mitigation measures that can be used to help keep students, staff and the wider community as safe as possible, whilst not restricting the delivery of face-to-face, high quality education to all students. These control measures have been written into the new Risk Assessment for Prince Henry’s, available below.
At Prince Henry’s, the return to school arrangements include the following measures to reduce the risk of spreading the infection:
All students have been offered two on-site Lateral Flow Tests at the start of the autumn term. Staff and students will then be encouraged to undertake twice weekly home testing until at least the end of September (when it will be reviewed). Please encourage and support your child to home test regularly. Likewise, if your child is not participating in on-site testing at the start of term, please support them to undertake a test at home on the evening before returning to school.
Students and staff will have the option of wearing a face covering on corridors and in communal areas. Students will be expected to wear a face covering when travelling to school on public or dedicated school transport.
Maintaining good ventilation in all spaces will remain a priority.
Hand and respiratory hygiene
Hand sanitiser will continue to be available throughout the school building, and the expectation of regular hand cleaning will continue to be extremely important.
The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to coughs and sneezes will also remain.
The school’s cleaning contractor will provide an enhanced cleaning routine, for example regular cleaning of key areas throughout the day, with a particular focus on frequently touched places.
Following PHE guidance on testing, self-isolation and managing positive cases
Students or staff should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine). Anyone displaying symptoms will be sent home and asked to follow PHE guidance.
Outbreak Management Plan
The Outbreak Management Plan outlines how Prince Henry’s will operate and what additional mitigation measures may be put in place if there were an outbreak in the school or the local area. The decision to implement some or all aspects of the school’s Outbreak Management Plan will be made in conjunction with Public Health England. Additional measures in the Outbreak Management Plan include:
- A return to the separation of Year Groups (bubbles)
- An expectation that all students and staff wear a face covering in corridors, communal areas or classrooms
- Increased testing
- Limiting activities such as onsite Parents’ events
- Limiting attendance onsite and return to remote education (last resort)
In addition, there will be a review and update of the Individual Risk Assessments for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable staff and students (those who previously received a Shielding Letter).
The most recent version of our Risk Assessment and Outbreak Management Plan has been uploaded below.