Schools must comply with health and safety law, assess risks and have sufficient controls in place.
We have undertaken risk assessments in each of our Trust schools, using Sheffield City Council and government guidance, and tailoring this where applicable to provide a range of protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of the infection.
These measures include (but are not limited to):
- Individuals who are unwell following government guidance on self isolation and quarantine
- Cleaning hands thoroughly and more often than usual
- Ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the 'catch it, bin it, kill it' approach
- Enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often
- Minimising contact between individuals.
Throughout the pandemic the Trust has followed Government and local guidance in order to ensure the safety of staff, pupils, students and the wider community.
On 5th July 2021 we reintroduced face masks, in line with local authority guidance, due to the rise in Covid cases in the City. This guidance has changed from 19 July as detailed below.
From Step 4 of the Covid road map – 19 July 2021
Government and Legal guidance
- From 19 July, the government is removing the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don't normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.
- From 19 July, face coverings will no longer be advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.
- The director of public health might advise Schools that face coverings should temporarily be worn in communal areas or classrooms (by pupils staff and visitors, unless exempt) in the case of a local outbreak.
This guidance is changing rapidly at the moment so we will provide a further update for September.
Trust guidance - For those working in schools from 19 July to 31 August 2021:
We will follow the government guidance and our approach is in line with Chris Whitty’s (England Chief Medical officer) 3 part rule of thumb for continuing to wear a face mask:
- In crowded indoor spaces;
- When required to by an authority;
- Or to make someone else feel comfortable.
We will continue to follow the 4 E’S in line with the updated approach:
Expect we will expect secondary students and all adults to wear a face covering where you are in an enclosed crowded space
Enable we will provide a face covering for any student who wishes to have one but doesn’t yet have their own
Encourage we will encourage each other to take responsibility for our own personal safety and to make the right choice to ensure we all feel safe and cared for. We also encourage you, if you see a colleague wearing a face mask, to ask them if they would prefer you wear a mask.
Educate everyone will learn why, how and when it is appropriate to wear a face covering.
- If there is a medical reason or another reason why staff or students cannot wear a facemask then they do not have to wear one, and this should be discussed with the Headteacher.
- Primary children are not expected to wear a face mask.
- Masks are not expected to be worn in classrooms by staff or students.
- Visitors to all schools will continue to be expected to wear a face mask at all times where they are in enclosed spaces and social distancing is not possible.
NHS Track and Trace
We continue to engage with the NHS track and trace process and will respond rapidly to confirmed cases.
We will continue to monitor the protective measures in place, on a weekly basis, and will inform staff and parents of any changes as appropriate.
Who to contact
Schools have contacted families directly to confirm the specific processes in place with regards to the school day. If you have any specific enquiries please contact your school office or headteacher.
The Department for Education has also set up a Covid-19 helpline, available to staff, parents and young people to answer any questions relating to education.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.