Coronavirus Schools Guidance – 12 ways to reduce the risks!

Coronavirus Schools Guidance

By Stephen McKernan

Headmaster St Edward’s Preparatory School, Cheltenham

The current Government advice to schools is limited to public health precautions from Public Health England, as well as some posters & leaflets which schools can download.

Practical Coronavirus Schools Guidance

What we are lacking is practical and procedural advice for School leaders working hard keeping their schools open this week and preparing for distance learning for the future. Here Headteacher, Stephen McKernan provides a 12 point leadership strategy to reduce the spread of Coronavirus in schools:

12 point Leadership strategy to reduce the spread of Coronavirus 

1. Communicate regularly with your parent body – this is your community, they depend on the leadership you are showing.

2. Brief staff daily either by email or face to face – don’t have them guessing your strategy!

3. Ensure your staff know who they will report any concerns regarding symptoms – usually the Head! Put in place a collaborative ‘medical needs excel form’ on Office 365 for example.

4. Update the Crisis Management Plan for your school with your leadership team and trustees, to be able to continue education if/when you have to close.

5. Risk Assess a number of scenarios that could/will unfold – learn from Schools in China and Italy.

6. Have your Distance Learning Strategy ready including actual learning activities if you need to close and buy in the extra hardware needed for staff to work from home. Have a plan in place of how admin staff will work remotely. How will you know about any continued Safeguarding concerns and the sickness status of any family?

7. Use Public Health England webpage, which has numerous useful resources – send them out to staff and parents as soon as possible. Display them for pupils to read (when appropriate).

8. Ensure your school has up to date employee contact and emergency contact details on record

9. Ensure toilet and washing facilities are frequently replenished with soap and hand sanitiser (if you have this). Ensure better record keeping of toilet washing by staff

10. Ensure hot water is working in all washing facilities to aid with thorough hand washing

11. Place anti-bacterial gels and clean tissues around the school ( if you can still source them)

12. Keep on top of the cleaning – ensure wastepaper bins (with used tissues), toilet facilities and communal hand touching areas such as door handles and entry pin codes are cleaned regularly. Give staff a small spray bottle, so that they can clean door handles in addition to cleaning staff.

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