Guidance for returning to school in September

National guidance for Special Schools was released by the Government on 2nd July 2020. All measures and protocols within this document are based upon the suggestions put forward in the Government Guidance where it is applicable.

From September 2020 the whole school will be considered as one bubble. This will enable us to ensure that the pupils are able to return to as normal an environment as is possible. Any pupils who have been shielding will be expected to return to school as normal in September. For both pupils and members of staff we will need to balance a number of suggested guidance.

Each section below will outline the way in which we move forward in these still uncertain times.

Public Health Advice

  • No individual should be in attendance if they are displaying symptoms. Parents/Carers can apply to be tested through the link https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test.
  • Any individual who displays symptoms during the day is isolated and sent home and then arrange for a test.
  • Temperature testing will only take place if any individual displays symptoms
  • Staff must ensure that they and the children undertake regular hand washing throughout the day
  • Staff and parents/carers must promote “CATCH IT, BIN IT, KILL IT”
  • Regular cleaning of equipment will occur throughout the day and appropriate materials will be supplied for each area or room
  • Distancing can occur by keeping pupils in their class groups for the majority of the time however, as the total number of pupils within the school is relatively small (compared to many mainstream settings), we will need to allow pupils to mix in order to deliver specialist teaching, transport and after school care
  • Pupils will continue to arrive and leave school in a staggered manner. Parent drop off at 8:45am and collect at 2:30pm.
  • Parents/Carers must not congregate in the vicinity of the school.
  • Any pupils arriving with face coverings will need to have these removed using the correct procedure (followed by hand washing). These must remain in school bags throughout the day, disposable coverings will need to be hygienically disposed of immediately.
  • Staff will use Social Stories wherever practically possible to enable pupils to understand the procedures in place. These can also be provided for families if required.
  • Any shared equipment will be cleaned
  • Any pupils who pose additional risks must have a completed risk assessment submitted by Phase Leaders to SLT in order to make appropriate adjustments
  • Response to infection and managing any confirmed cases – will be based on subsequent advice from Public Health colleagues

School Operations

  • Transport will continue to be provided for some pupils by the Local Authority
  • Attendance will be expected to continue as normal, all parents/carers must ensure that pupils attend
  • Safeguarding policies and updates will be published in the usual manner and staff will be required to undertake training as appropriate
  • The school kitchen will be fully operational from September 2020 – with some amendments to practise
  • Educational visits can resume, but no overnight stays will be allowed until further notice. Staff organising visits will need to ensure that risk assessments take into account any risks posed by being in public areas. Some visits may not be deemed as appropriate by the SLT, this will be at their discretion.

Curriculum

  • All staff have planned to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum from September 2020, however, staff need to ensure that they are able to focus on behaviour, health and well being and any displays of anxiety from the pupils.
  • Initially all staff will spend time focusing on expectations from pupils
  • A full curriculum should be in place by Summer Term 2021
  • Contingency planning – All teachers will prepare a work pack in preparation for a local lockdown. The work packs must have sufficient material to last pupils at least two weeks.
  • Physical activity can continue
  • External coaches will be allowed in school to deliver specific activities as appropriate

Assessment and accountability

  • OFSTED inspections will continue to remain suspended during the Autumn term
  • Staff will need to re-baseline all pupils within the first half term and adjust SOLAR as required.

Risk Assessments

  • The whole school risk assessment will be available on return to school in September 2020

Resolving Issues

  • Parents/Carers and staff should come together to resolve issues and these should be brought to the attention of Line Managers in the first instance.

Finally, in light of all of the advice and guidance above and in various documents produced by the Government over the last four months, I would like to assure you all that we are adhering to these guidelines as closely as possible.

Additional Information

Parents/Carers should bear in mind that the details written in this document are guidelines directly from the Government, however, some of the guidelines may prove to be difficult to implement with our children (particularly social distancing as they simply do not understand) and it will not always be possible to strictly adhere to them.

If the guidelines change then we will adapt our working practises accordingly.