How classrooms with new safety measures will look when schools in Sheffield reopen
The fallout from the coronavirus crisis will continue to affect every part of our daily lives for months and possibly years to come, and education will be no different.
Both primary and secondary schools are likely to look and feel very different when pupils return to them, whether that be before the summer holidays or after them.
The Government have provided guidance to all schools on how they need to redesign their services to stay safe as we create a ‘new normal’ to cope with coronavirus.
They say infection control will be increased by keeping symptomatic people or those who live with them away from school settings, regular hand-washing and promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to good respiratory hygiene.
Frequently touched surfaces will also be regularly cleaned, classroom layouts will be altered and break times will be staggered to minimise contact.
Face masks will not be worn in schools but anyone providing care to a child who has symptoms will be required to wear a face visor.
Staff who are in clinically vulnerable or shielded categories will be strongly advised to stay away from work.
If a child of staff member lives with someone who is clinically vulnerable or shielded, it is advised they only attend school if strict social distancing can be adhered to.
In primary schools, where social distancing is more difficult to maintain, schools should follow the guidelines set out above and limit group size to 15 plus one teacher.
In secondary schools, it is advised that only a quarter of the pupils in Years 10 and 12 should be in school at any one time and classes should be no more than half their usual size.
In both settings, children and staff should only mix in a small, consistent group which can stay away as much as possible from other people and groups.
Schools are furthermore advised to refresh their risk assessments and other health and safety policies in light of the new Government guidance.
They are also advised to review timetables, break times, drop off and collection procedures and equipment needs.