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Guidance for education and childcare: coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated guidance

From 13 October, students and staff members in education and early years settings are no longer required to leave school, college or nursery immediately to take a PCR if they are identified as a direct contact unless they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Students identified as direct contacts will now be asked to take a PCR test within three days. If a student receives a test appointment during the school or working day, their parent or carer can contact the coronavirus helpline to rearrange the appointment to a more convenient time.

A parent or carer is not prevented from taking their child out of school immediately to be tested should they choose to do so.

Any student identified as a direct contact will be required to commence lateral flow tests at home for 10 days and can return to school, college or nursery provided that the test is negative. Testing kits will be issued at schools, colleges and nurseries.

Students in primary schools who are identified as indirect contacts will also be offered 10 days lateral flow tests, but they will not be required to take a PCR test. Secondary school performances, events and rehearsals are also able to recommence provided that all students participating in the school production sign-up to the lateral test screening programme, and schools adhere to new guidance to ensure that measures are in place to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in these settings.

Lateral flow testing for students and education staff

The following groups can regsiter for lateral flow test kits to use at home: 

  • secondary school and college students 
  • all education settings staff, including early years staff

Students and staff are encouraged to use a lateral flow test twice a week at home. The kit contains 25 lateral flow tests, which will cover 12 weeks.

Register and information about lateral flow testing

Introduction

This guidance provides public health advice that applies to all schools, colleges, early years and childcare providers, including registered baby and toddler groups and breakfast, after school and holiday clubs for children. Providers also need to refer to the guidance for businesses.

Each school, college, early years and childcare provider should use this guidance to undertake a detailed risk assessment and produce a safety plan that is specific to their setting. Their risk assessment, which should be subject to continual timely updating will identity sensible measures can be put in place to minimise the risks of COVID-19 to children, young people and staff.

Children's Rights Impact Assessment

In May and June 2020 Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES) undertook an Initial Children's Rights Impact Assessment as part of the preparations to reopen schools.

Children's Rights Impact Assessment

School Closures: CRIA Comment

Safety plans and risk assessments

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, settings must use a range of measures to create safer environments. These measures, which are intended to minimise risks to children, staff and their families, may look different in each setting as they will depend on the individual configuration of each setting.

Key principles underpinning any safety plan:

  • each setting must plan in advance how they are going to reduce the risk of spreading the virus
  • making sure that children and young people do not attend if they have symptoms of COVID-19
  • everyone attending the setting must be supported to adhere to the public health advice on isolation and testing
  • regular and thorough hand washing as well as enhanced cleaning must be in place
  • that the number of people that each child comes in contact with is limited
  • physical distancing guidance is applied appropriately (physical distancing guidance varies between settings)

This will include:

  • promoting regular hand washing for 20 seconds with running water and soap or use of hand sanitiser (with 60 to 70% alcohol content). Ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the catch it, bin it, kill it approach
  • cleaning more frequently to get rid of the virus on frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, tabletops, play equipment and toys

An update of the site-specific workplace safety plan is required for each setting. A workplace is defined as any place where people are required to work. As part of this update settings should regularly walk through their work areas to make sure they have captured all aspects of the workplace and understand what control measures are in place to mitigate any risks. Settings should check that suitable signs and notices are displayed in the workplace to remind children and staff of hygiene requirements and other measures.

CYPES Officers are available to support settings with the update to their site-specific safety plans and risk assessments. Settings must ensure that plans remain dynamic and changes are made as required. All settings should communicate their safety plans to parents.

Sample risk assessment

Sample safety plan

Attendance

All children and young people should attend their setting unless they are isolating or there are other reasons for absence (such as shielding due to health conditions).

Parents should notify their child's setting, as normal, if their child is unable to attend so that staff are aware.

Underlying health conditions and higher risk groups

Children and young people who are at high and moderate risk of illness from COVID-19 are encouraged to attend.

Children and parents who feel that it is not safe to return, owing to a child or young person's particular circumstances or medical condition, are advised to contact their child's specialist doctor. If it's decided, following discussion between the doctor, child and parents or guardian, that the risk of returning outweighs the benefits, the child is not expected to return.

Higher risk children should adhere to physical distancing and other public health advice, where they are able to understand and follow that advice. For children not returning due to shielding, settings will make decisions about how best to support and educate them.

Physical distancing and limiting number of contacts

Young people are exempt from the guidance for physical distancing when at school/college. Staff, volunteers, visitors and parents or guardians and all other adults are however guided to maintain physical distancing. The advice is for all adults to maintain 2 metres physical distancing wherever possible and always at least 1 metre.

Children are not required to maintain physical distancing from each other while in their educational setting.

Staff should maintain 2 metres physical distancing where possible but always a minimum of 1 metre between all other adults and children wherever possible. Where this is not possible it is recommended that close contact is kept to under 15 minutes.

Settings should provide 2 metres where possible but always a minimum of 1 metre

physical distancing between adults in staff rooms and areas where staff congregate inside for over 15 minutes as part of their business continuity plans. This is because if a member of staff tests positive, they will be contact traced and all direct contacts, those within 2 metres for 15 minutes or more, would be considered a direct contact and would need to self-isolate.

Individual staff members who may be at increased risk from COVID should, where applicable, adhere to relevant on public health guidance on matters such as personal shielding.

Specific guidance for early years settings

Strict adherence to physical distancing is not possible for young children. It is therefore accepted that physical distancing will not always be possible between children, and between children and staff, in early years settings. However, the following should be maintained wherever possible.

The following should be considered:

  • children stay in the same group to avoid mixing during the day, or on subsequent days
  • the group can be the whole class or room
  • ensure that wherever possible children use the same room or area throughout the day and on subsequent days
  • children in different groups can mix outdoors
  • where there is more than one group within a room there should be a physical barrier (such as a partition) that prevents children from one group being able to easily interact with another group
  • if possible, assign toilets to set groups of children and consider allocating specific areas of the outdoor space for each group
  • it is preferable for the same staff to be assigned to each group and where possible they should not move between different groups of children. It is accepted that in order to provide enough cover or to support a child, staff will need to go into more than one class or group, however, this number should be kept as low as possible
  • 2 metres physical distancing where possible should be maintained but always a minimum of 1 metre between adults from different households should be adhered to, consider limiting the number of people in the staff room
  • although it will not be possible for staff to maintain 2 metres physical distance, or even 1 metre, from children in their allocated group, they should ensure wherever possible they keep 2 metres away, or a minimum of 1 metre, from all other staff, parents and children in other groups
  • visitors to the premises should be kept to an absolute minimum
  • where possible, create a one-way system for circulation, entering and leaving the buildings, using tape and signs to indicate the direction of flow/travel, no entry etc
  • access rooms directly from outside where possible
  • consider staggering or separating entry and break and lunch times where possible
  • play equipment that cannot be cleaned between different groups of children should not be used (for example, soft play or dressing up equipment)
  • maximise ventilation or air exchanges as much as possible

While early years settings should ensure children are kept within groups and apart when indoors as much as possible, it is acknowledged that this will not always be achievable. The intention should be that mixing of groups is avoided indoors wherever possible, and minimised where it cannot be avoided. Groups are permitted to mix outdoors.

Within the Foundation Stage in primary schools it is recognised that for certain parts of the school day a whole Foundation Stage bubble / group approach may be required. It is important to minimise the amount of time this whole Foundation Stage group is together.

Specific guidance for primary schools

The bubble approach continues to be recommended for primary schools. This means that children will be kept in a whole class size bubble. While it is accepted that there will be some interaction within the group, interaction between different groups should be minimised. This allows the number of contacts each child has to be kept to a minimum.

While schools should ensure that groups of learners are kept within class group bubbles and apart within the school as much as possible, it is acknowledged that this will not always be achievable. The intention should be that mixing of class bubbles is avoided wherever possible, and minimised where it cannot be avoided.

From 6 September, the bubble approach is no longer required in primary schools when children are outside of school buildings. This means that all year groups can mix outdoors at break times.

For two and three form entry schools it is recognised that for certain parts of the school day, notably at the beginning and end of the school day and during breaks and lunchtime, a whole year bubble approach may be required. It is important to minimise the amount of time class bubbles from across a year group are together. For example, if it cannot be avoided lunchtime and break times taking place indoors can be supervised in phases i.e. several classes of the same year group together.

It is accepted that in order to provide enough cover, lunchtime supervisors will need to go into more than one class, however, this number should be kept as low as possible.

Specific guidance for secondary schools and colleges

There is no physical distancing requirement between children, however, year groups should be kept separate as much as possible when inside the school building. Maintain 2 metres where possible, and always a minimum of 1 metre physical distancing between all adults and between adults and children wherever possible.

Students from different schools may mix during lessons for the purpose of specialist teaching such as joint-Sixth Form A-Level subjects, provided that they remain within the same year group.  

Specific guidance for childminders and nannies

All the children that the childminder or nanny looks after are considered part of a 'bubble' and therefore it is understood that they will have contact with each other and share play resources while inside the private property. The number of children is limited to the number that the childminder is registered for or for the number of children the nanny is looking after.

Due to the flexible nature of childminder work it is understood that there are instances when there will be mixing of bubbles between the childminder and school settings, for example where wrap-around school care is provided or where a childminder looks after their own children after school. Although the mixing of bubbles should be limited as much as possible it is accepted that in such instances it can occur. If the childminder looks after children that are also in school settings, when the child arrives into the childminder's house directly from school, they should change out of their school clothes and thoroughly wash their hands.

It is important that outside of the childcare setting both the childminder or nanny, and the children they are looking after, follow the physical distancing guidelines.

Childminders and nannies should carefully consider trips that could expose the children to potential community spread of COVID-19 (shops, supermarkets, soft play areas) but children are encouraged to safely use outdoor spaces where physical distancing under the current Government guidelines permits. Childminders and nannies should avoid taking children to places where there are lots of people and they should only meet up with people from outside their household where there is plenty of space to adhere to the 2 metre rule.

The childminder or nanny and the parents should discuss and agree their approach to physical distancing with the children. They should ensure that they are consistent in their explanation to the children ensuring the children adhere to it.

When outside a private house physical distancing with people outside of their household and not in their direct care should be maintained. The childminder and nanny should maintain physical distancing with family members of the children and others that they are not directly caring for.

When out of the house regular handwashing should be maintained. When it is not possible then hand sanitiser (with 60 % to 70% alcohol content) should be used although this should be limited to occasional use in pre-school children and only when there is no alternative available.

If there is a positive case within a childminder's household, the childminder should not receive a child(ren) into their home. 

Specific guidance for breakfast, after school and holiday clubs and out of school activities

This guidance applies only to primary aged children and younger.

Given the age range (under 12) of children, as far as practical, the following approach should be followed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and staff. While there is no restriction on the number of children attending it is recommended that they remain 2 metres apart wherever possible and always maintain at least 1 metre physical distancing. Providers can determine how this is best managed and in some cases may decide to continue to follow a bubble approach.

  • same group wherever possible – children stay in the same groups at all times. Wherever possible different groups are to avoid mixing during the day, or on subsequent days. Where children attend irregularly and/or there is no pattern to their attendance in any given week they should be with the same children and staff each time they attend
  • same location - ensure that wherever possible children use the same room or area (this could be a sectioned off part of a hall) throughout the day and on subsequent days
  • same facilities – if possible, assign toilets to set groups of children
  • groups are able to mix in outdoor settings
  • it is preferable for the same staff to be assigned to each group and where possible they should not move between different groups of children
  • settings should record which children are in each group, which location and facilities they are assigned to and which staff are associated with each group. This will facilitate contact tracing and cleaning should someone become symptomatic or test positive. It is accepted that in order to provide enough cover or to support a child, staff will need to go into more than one area, however, this should be minimised as much as possible

While breakfast, after school and holiday club settings should ensure that groups of children are kept apart within the setting as much as possible, it is acknowledged that this will not always be achievable.

Measures to keep children apart include planning for staggered and segregated breaks and lunches where possible and may also include zoning areas within the setting for use as social space. The intention should be that mixing of bubbles is avoided, wherever possible, and minimised where it cannot be avoided.

Groups can mix outdoors, but where the use of shared play spaces occurs, for example the outdoor learning area, appropriate sanitation and hand hygiene routines should be followed.

It is recognised that strict adherence to physical distancing is not possible for young children and breakfast, after school and holiday club settings are not designed to have separation between all children and staff at all times.

It is therefore accepted that physical distancing will not always be possible between the children, and between the children and the staff. However, physical distancing of 2 metres wherever possible and always at least 1 metre is recommended. 

Mouth and nose coverings

Children

Early Years and Primary school aged:

  • there is no requirement for children to wear mouth and nose coverings while in the school or setting
  • children over the age of 2 are free to wear mouth and nose coverings if they choose to do so
  • no child under the age of 2 years or any child unable to remove a mouth or nose covering by themselves or with breathing difficulties should wear a face mask due to immediate health risk

Secondary school aged and higher education:

Secondary school-aged students and those in higher education are required to wear masks on school transport and are strongly recommended to wear masks in all areas of the school and college building indoors when moving around in corridors and communal areas, where social distancing cannot be maintained. This does not include when eating, drinking or undertaking PE.

Any child who wishes to do so can wear a mask at other times while at school.

Staff and all adult visitors

All adult visitors to any school setting are strongly recommended to wear a mouth and nose covering when indoors. They are not required outdoors for example when dropping off and collecting children.

·        parents/carers should wear a mask while indoors

·        the group leader is not required to wear a mask

Early years settings:

  • staff are strongly encouraged to wear mouth and nose coverings within indoor communal areas within the early years setting where social distancing cannot easily be maintained
  • staff are not required to wear masks during sessions with the children
  • clear face shields or visors may be used in preference to masks as these will aid communication, especially for younger children and those with hearing impairments

Primary, secondary schools and higher and further education settings:

  • all adults (including teachers, other staff and visitors) should wear mouth and nose coverings when moving around in indoor areas within the premises, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained
  • staff are not required to wear masks in lessons
  • clear face shields / visors may be used in preference to masks as these will aid communication, especially to those with hearing impairments

Any member of staff who wishes to do so can wear a mask at other times while at work.

Baby and toddler groups:

  • parents and carers should wear a mask while indoors
  • the group leader is not required to wear a mask

Exemptions

Exemptions can apply if the individual (adults as well as children) has a special need, disability or condition that would make it very difficult for them to wear a mouth and nose covering. This includes:

  • if they cannot put on, wear or remove a mouth and nose covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a mouth and nose covering will cause the person severe distress
  • if the person is speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip-reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate

For example, if a child or young person has a serious respiratory condition, they may find it too difficult to breathe through a mouth and nose covering.

If a person has a learning difficulty, sensory processing disorder or an emotional and mental health condition, wearing a mask could be too overwhelming.

If a person has communication difficulties, speech impairment or finds it hard to express themselves with a mask on, especially if they are non-verbal, a mask would be difficult.

This list is not exhaustive and there will be many other disabilities, including invisible ones, that would make wearing a mask very difficult. If wearing a cloth mask is problematic to health, causes distress or discomfort, then a clear face shield could be an alternative, which will still offer protection to others and the wearer.

Exemption cards will be available from the school for both members of staff and pupils. These can be applied for via the school office. Following a request for an exemption the school will provide the adult or child with the exemption card.

Guidance about how to put on mouth and nose covering and visors, and how to keep them clean

It is vital that mouth and nose coverings are worn correctly and that clear instructions are provided to staff, children and young people on how to put on, remove, store and dispose of mouth and nose coverings to avoid inadvertently increasing the risks of transmission.

A clean mask is required each day and it is suggested that students bring a spare mask with them as a back-up.

Safe wearing of mouth and nose coverings requires cleaning of hands before and after touching, including to remove or put them on, and the safe storage of them in individual, sealable plastic bags between use. Where a mask becomes damp, it should not be worn and the mask should be replaced carefully.

Guidance on wearing a mask or mouth and nose covering

Access to mouth and nose coverings

It is reasonable to assume that staff and young people will now have access to mouth and nose coverings due to their increasing use in wider society.

However, where anybody is struggling to access a mouth and nose covering, or where they are unable to use their face covering due to having forgotten it or it has become soiled or unsafe, educational settings should take steps to have a small contingency supply available to meet such needs.

No-one should be excluded from education on the grounds that they are not wearing a mouth and nose covering.

Staff are encouraged to bring their own washable masks. Each school setting will be provided with a supply of clear face shields to allocate to teachers and other staff as needed.

Each school will have a supply of disposable masks that it can also provide to staff and visitors should they forget their masks or it becomes soiled or unsafe.

Refusal to wear a mouth and nose covering

If a child refuses to wear a mouth and nose covering, without an exemption, then the school should deal with it in line with their behaviour policy.

Mouth and nose coverings on buses

Children over the age of 11 attending primary and secondary school will continue to have to wear mouth and nose coverings as a condition of carriage on school buses as well as on the public bus service. Anyone over the age of 11 going on a private minibus or coach will also be expected to wear a mouth and nose covering.

Symptoms and testing

Ensure that all staff and parents are aware of the symptoms of COVID-19.

If a child or a member of staff has symptoms they should not attend school.

If a child showing symptoms comes into the setting, staff should isolate the child and make arrangements to send them home.

A single designated room, or if possible, an outside area, should be provided as a defined contaminated zone and the child or staff member should be kept there until they are picked up. Where possible, open windows to increase ventilation.

Call the parent or guardian, or nearest family member (in the case of a member of staff) to arrange collection. They should be advised to contact the coronavirus helpline as soon as possible. The helpline is available to support parents in determining whether or not the symptoms are likely to be consistent with COVID-19 and whether or not testing and isolating is required.

In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk.

Staff attending to the sick person should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering any contaminated zone and remain in PPE until they leave.

If the sick person needs to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.

After the designated room or contaminated area has been used the area should be cleaned by your service provider or in-house team in line with the cleaning strategy. PPE in line with the guidance is required.

The member of staff that has helped the person who was taken unwell with symptoms should remove and securely dispose of the PPE and wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds. If they feel their clothes have been contaminated, by someone coughing or sneezing on them, they should change these. They do not need to go home unless they themselves are symptomatic.

If a child has symptoms, the setting does not need to inform other parents that a child is symptomatic.

If a child is absent from the setting with COVID-19 symptoms this should be recorded.

If an individual with symptoms receives a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result, the child/staff member will be advised to stay at home until they feel better.

If there is a confirmed case (a positive PCR test) then the contact tracing process will start.

Confirmed case within the setting

If someone within the setting receives a positive PCR test result then the following guidance should be followed:

  • the setting should wait until they are contacted by the contact tracing team informing them of a confirmed positive case before taking any action or informing parents. This will avoid any unnecessary panic or confusion arising from a suspected case that is later found to be negative
  • the contact tracing team need time to discuss individual circumstances with the confirmed positive case to establish their movements and who they have been in direct contact with
  • after completing their conversation with the confirmed case, the contact tracing team may need to consult the infection control team to obtain advice on the cleaning process necessary within the setting
  • the contact tracing team have all the emergency contact details for all the schools and colleges in the Island and will call as soon as they have the necessary information regarding the confirmed case
  • during this conversation the contact tracing team will explain that there has been a confirmed case within the setting
  • if the confirmed case has not provided consent to share their name, the contact tracing team will not be in a position to divulge this
  • the confirmed case will need to provide sufficient information in order to enable the identification of their direct contacts (those that have been within 2 metres for 15 minutes or more of the confirmed case during their infectious period)
  • the contact tracing team will potentially request assistance from the setting in establishing the names and contact details of all the direct contacts of the confirmed case
  • the contact tracing team will contact those individuals or parents of the children directly to provide advice on isolation and welfare and to offer them a PCR test
  • the setting does not need to inform the direct contacts of the confirmed case. The contact tracing team are better placed to be able to offer the correct advice, offer reassurance and to book direct contacts in for a PCR test as necessary
  • anyone who is not identified as having been within 2 metres for 15 minutes or more of the confirmed case during their infectious period without any PPE is unlikely to be identified as a direct contact
  • although it is important that the setting communicates with their community in a timely manner to avoid speculation and concern, this must be undertaken in a carefully managed manner to provide accurate information, reassure parents and to make sure that the contact tracing team is not overwhelmed with phone calls from people that are not direct contacts
  • after the contact tracing team have called confirming the positive case within the setting, the setting should inform the CYPES Hub cypeshub@gov.je who can provide further support on how to manage the situation and communicate with parents
  • a template letter has been drafted which settings may wish to consider using to inform their community
  • the contact tracing team or infection control team will also provide advice to the setting in terms of any deep cleaning
  • all individuals involved are requested to respect the privacy of the confirmed case

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE will not generally be needed in educational settings.

PPE should be available in each setting for use in the event of a child or member of staff becoming symptomatic and needing care prior to leaving the premises. Training on the use of PPE should be provided.

Specific guidance for childminders

Childminders should ensure that they have a single set of PPE available (consisting of disposable gloves, disposable apron and surgical grade mask). In the case of a child starting to display COVID-19 symptoms whilst in your care, you should put on the PPE and contact parents to collect their child immediately.

Children under the age of 11 are not required to wear cloth face masks and they are not recommended for children under the age of 2.

Follow the guidance on the use of cloth masks.

Hand washing and respiratory hygiene

Regular and thorough hand washing is essential for everyone. The following should be followed:

  • regular and thorough hand washing by children, young people, staff and all visitors
  • hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds and dried thoroughly using paper towels
  • as a minimum, children and young people should wash their hands, on entry to the setting, after breaks, before and after eating, after using any shared equipment / resources, and after sneezing or coughing and before going home
  • ensure that help is available for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently
  • ensure that sufficient hand washing facilities are available
  • hand washing is preferable to using hand sanitiser, however where hand washing is not practical or there is not a sink nearby, hand sanitiser with 60% to 70% alcohol content should be provided
  • provide hand sanitiser (with 60% to 70% alcohol content) dispensers in prominent places around the setting, making sure these dispensers are regularly refilled
  • Children with sensitive skin ( eczema or atopic dermatitis) should use emollients in generous quantities after handwashing or using hand sanitizers. Parents or carers should be educated on how to recognise flare up of atopic eczema (increased dryness, itching, redness, swelling and general irritability) and seek medical treatment if it worsens.
  • Hand sanitizers should not be used by children under the age of 12 months and for children under the age of 5 years there should be supervised use of hand sanitizer
  • hand sanitiser is not recommended for very young children - thorough washing with mild soap and water should be used instead.
  • encourage children and young people not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
  • encourage the use of a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze into and use bins for tissue waste ('catch it, bin it, kill it')
  • consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, rhymes and repetition

Some children and young people will need additional support to follow these measures (for example, braille or with other meaningful symbols, and social stories to support them in understanding how to follow rules).

Cleaning

Cleaning practices will be reflected in the safety plan and will be in accordance with the Children, Young People, Education and Skills Cleaning Strategy. Schools and colleges will have site specific cleaning guidelines.

Cleaning strategies need to be regularly reviewed and if required, cleaning regimes enhanced to improve infection control and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Consider the following suggestions to increase cleaning across the setting.

  1. The use of in-house staff with work being re-prioritised to support additional cleaning i.e. in-house cleaning staff, caretakers and site teams.
  2. Re-prioritise cleaning contracts to support cleaning requirements, for example the re planning of specifications to focus on touch down areas, handles and horizontal surfaces.
  3. Extend existing cleaning contracts (full-time cleaners) to support cleaning requirements.

There should be particular emphasis on regularly cleaning surfaces that are frequently touched such as door handles, switches, stairway railings as well as toilet areas.

Clean surfaces that children and young people are touching, such as books, desks, chairs, sinks, toilets more regularly than normal.

Items such as towels, flannels and bedding must not be shared by children and washed daily in a hot wash (on a cycle of at least 60 °C and tumble dried if possible).

Ensure that bins for tissues and hand towels are emptied throughout the day.

Ensure that toilets do not become crowded by limiting the number of children who use the toilet facilities at any one time. Switch off hand dryers and provide paper towels.

Specific guidance for childminders and nannies

  • childminders and employers of nannies should ensure that the house (or the parts of the house the children / nanny will be using) is thoroughly cleaned with particular attention being given to regular touch points (door handles, light switches, handrails) and toilet areas before they come into the home each day. If possible, limit the rooms of the house that you will use in order to make cleaning easier
  • toys and equipment that is handled by children should be sanitised daily. Toys and equipment that is used by children in different bubbles should be cleaned between use
  • frequently used items should be cleaned regularly throughout the day (for example baby monitors and car seats etc)
  • toys that cannot be sanitised should not be used
  • after the children or nanny have left the cleaning (as detailed above) should be repeated to help protect those in the household

Cleaning strategy

Sample cleaning schedule

First aid and intimate care

Where a child/young person requires first aid and other essential care and it is not possible for them to administer it to themselves under supervision of an adult and it is not appropriate to wait for a parent to arrive, the staff member can get closer than 2 metres to the child.

In such cases no additional PPE, other than that which would be normally recommended to complete the task, is necessary.

The staff member should be reminded to thoroughly wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds before and after attending to the child.

Shared resources

The use of shared resources should be reduced as far as possible.

  • water fountains can be used to fill up water bottles but not to drink directly from. As a regular touch point these should be cleaned frequently
  • limit shared resources and wherever possible and clean between the use by different children
  • limit the resources that children take home and store each item for 24 hours before giving to another child
  • prevent the sharing of stationery and other equipment where possible
  • shared materials and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected between users or groups / bubbles of users
  • practical lessons can go ahead if equipment can be cleaned thoroughly between users
  • where practically possible sports equipment that is held for extended periods of time (for example, rackets, bats) should be cleaned between users. This does not apply to items that are touched infrequently and for very short durations (for example tennis balls)
  • children should be advised to wash their hands before and after any activity that involves shared equipment
  • teachers marking books does not present a significant infection route, but teachers should store work taken from school separately and within year group / class bubbles

Ventilation

The following practical measures for the deployment of good ventilation practices in schools should be adopted to ensure that air quality and ventilation is optimal for pupils and staff.

The guidance for education and childcare settings states that all spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or via ventilation units.  

Why indoor ventilation is important

Building ventilation is always an important part of a healthy building environment as it ensures that a steady stream of outside air is brought into the building whilst stale air is exhausted. Stale air includes bioeffluents (body odours and exhaled breath), airborne pollutants (such as smells from cleaning products and furniture), amongst others. Ventilation is also a very important way of diluting any airborne pathogens and there is good evidence that demonstrates room occupants are more at risk of catching an illness in a poorly ventilated room than in a well-ventilated room. This is because in a poorly ventilated room occupants are exposed to a higher concentration of airborne pathogens, and the risk will increase with a greater amount of time spent in such an environment.

The risk of airborne infection to the individual can therefore be reduced by:

  • reducing time spent in the location
  • reducing airborne exposure concentration of infectious material
  • reducing the risk of contact spread through regular handwashing, surface cleaning and reducing deposition of infectious particles

Ventilation rate and effectiveness play a role in both airborne exposure and deposition rates. The risk for COVID-19 transmission will be from asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals who occupy a building without knowledge that they are shedding viral particles. Current government advice should be consulted with regards to reducing risks posed by symptomatic individuals.

Evidence shows that SARS-CoV2, the virus which causes COVID-19, can spread by very small particles called aerosols that are released by an infected person when they cough, sneeze, talk and breathe, as well as the larger droplets that are released. Larger droplets will fall by gravity and influences physical distancing measures which are in place to reduce spread. However, the fine aerosols can remain airborne for several hours.

Although it can be difficult to definitively prove airborne transmission, our knowledge of other similar viruses and the emerging evidence showing high rates of infection in poorly ventilated rooms suggests that we should consider this as a potential transmission route and undertake measures to reduce that risk. These small droplets may be breathed in and cause infection.

As our understanding of the significance of the various transmission routes of SARS-CoV2 develops, we recommend increasing the rate of supply of outside air to occupants wherever it is practical as a pre-cautionary measure. This is particularly important in poorly ventilated areas. Increasing the ventilation rate helps dilute any airborne contamination and reduces the risk of exposure for building users.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) monitors

Deployment of these measures can be supplemented and enhanced by the use of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) monitors. These monitors can provide a useful general indication that areas/rooms may not be adequately ventilated and can enable occupants to become familiar with the impact of activities, outdoor weather and window openings on levels of good ventilation within a room.

To support schools further to identify rooms which may have inadequate ventilation and to optimise comfort levels through a better understanding of the degree of window opening required in rooms, the Department will arrange for the provision to schools of a number of portable units (based on the size of each school). These will be provided automatically to all Jersey schools. The units will be portable and capable of being powered via their own power socket or via the USB cable connected to a PC. The units and a user guide will be provided to schools over the coming months.

Measurements should be made over a minimum of 1 hour, to allow the readings to reach a steady state and to collect a representative sample of data. Short term or spot measurements are unreliable and should not be used. 

Air cleaners

Where the above measures have been undertaken, and poor ventilation continues to exist in a particular room or area, air cleaners may be considered as an additional measure in conjunction with other methods of ventilation that are available. This will require bespoke analysis and selection of the appropriate unit(s) matched to the specific room size and volume.

Practical steps

1. The over-arching approach for schools should be to have windows open as fully as possible when classrooms are not in use (for example, during break-times or lunch-times and also at the end of each school day) and partially open when classrooms are in use. It is worth noting that windows do not need to be open as wide in windy/colder weather in order to achieve the same level of airflow into the classroom. This will assist in managing comfort levels in classrooms during periods of colder weather.

2. As most schools rely on the opening of windows (natural ventilation) it is important that windows and air vents can be accessed and opened.

3. Rooms should be well ventilated before occupancy each day. This can be achieved by ensuring that at the end of the school day each evening, the windows in each room are opened (as wide as is practical and safe, while also considering security issues) for at least 15 minutes to ventilate the room fully.

4. Windows should also be open at break times and at lunchtimes for at least 15 minutes where possible.

5. For the first class of the school day windows should, weather conditions permitting, be partially opened (as per guidance in this document) to keep the room fresh and prevent stuffiness and condensation etc. This is in addition to and complements the end-of-day ventilation described above.

6. Achieving fresh air by having a number of windows partially opened as required rather than one window fully open can help to maximise the use of window driven natural ventilation distribution across the room without causing discomfort.

7. In colder weather any local chilling effect can be offset by partially opening the windows nearest to and above the radiators.

8. It is important to make sure that air movement is not blocked by furniture or window blinds and curtains.

9. Consideration should be given to local circumstances that may require to have additional windows open at particular times, such as after break time activities.

10. School management and staff should also take into consideration reliable, common sense indicators that there is adequate fresh air in a room. Such indicators include that a room is not stuffy and/or that condensation is not forming on the window glass.

11. Schools should also ensure that all permanent ventilation openings in rooms are fully open and not blocked by wall hangings etc. These openings are normally either a circular or rectangle ventilation grill on the external classroom wall or linear slot type ventilators built into the window frames. All of these should be kept open all the time. If they have been taped and sealed for decorating purposes then the tape/sealing should be removed. If a room does not have permanent background ventilation, provision of same should be considered based on professional construction advice and current Building Regulations.

12. All mechanical ventilation systems and any air conditioning systems should be set to 100% fresh air. Any air conditioning units that cannot operate on 100% fresh air (check with unit suppliers if in doubt) should be switched off and left off unless it is complemented by an adequate outside air supply such as openable windows, which can help to provide outside air to occupants and maintain thermal comfort.

13. If the corridors and staircases have no identifiable ventilation systems and rely on air infiltration from adjoining spaces as many transient spaces do, consideration should be given to ventilating these areas before and after break times by opening doors etc. This needs to be considered taking into account the fire strategy of the building. Where stairwells have opening windows, consideration should be given to their utilisation.

14. Keeping open the internal doors into classrooms for periods of time may assist with increasing air movement and ventilation rate. This is called cross ventilation. The same can be achieved by opening windows on opposite sides of the room, where possible. This cross ventilation approach can be enhanced even further by using openings at opposite diagonal ends thus maximising air flow potential through the complete room. It is important to note that fire doors should not be kept open unless fitted with approved automatic closers so that they function as fire doors in the event of an alarm or fire.

15. Schools should ensure there is appropriate ventilation of staffrooms, offices and other areas used primarily by staff, noting that some of these areas are used by different groups at different times. Air extraction systems including hob/ cooker exhaust hoods should be considered for use during occupancy - at low speed if required. These ventilation measures are in addition to the other mandated mitigation protocols, including social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and adequate cleaning.

16. Schools should ensure there is appropriate ventilation of areas such as sanitary facilities, gyms, multi-purpose rooms, canteens and libraries etc. which are used by different groups of students and should ensure use of open windows and any available extractor fans when these spaces are in use.

17. Consideration should be given to having activities such as singing or playing wind instruments or physical exercise that may generate high levels of respiratory aerosols take place outdoors.

18. As part of managing comfort levels in classrooms, schools should check that their boilers operation temperatures are set at the recommended manufacturers' guidance levels to maximise the available heat to the school. In addition, heating should operate for extended periods during colder weather to counteract, as best as possible, the impact of windows being open (partially when classrooms are in use and fully when not in use) in order to maintain an appropriate balance between ventilation and comfort levels.

The Department considers the above practical steps as sufficient to ensure good ventilation practices in school while at the same time ensuring an appropriate balance between ventilation and comfort. 

Visitors

Visitors to settings should be kept to a minimum. All adult visitors to any school should wear mouth and nose coverings.

Wherever possible parent evenings should be conducted virtually, however, in exceptional cases where this is not possible for an individual parent consultation these can resume with mitigations in place.

Parents may attend for inductions and transitions provided they adhere to all sector-specific mitigations, particularly those relating to physical distancing, mask wearing and hygiene. Parents of secondary school students can attend school events and performances provided they follow the protective measures in place for these activities. Parents can also attend an outdoor events at primary and secondary schools provided that physical distancing and other mitigations are maintained.

Visiting volunteers, for example those who read to children, can resume when all mitigations can be adhered to.

Peripatetic staff, including those engaged in after-school provision, may visit settings. As their involvement can be at primary and secondary level and may include children of different ages and from different schools, they should strictly adhere to the following mitigations:

  • smaller groups and / or alternate weeks for classes to keep numbers lower
  • limit the number of schools coming together
  • 2 metre physical distancing in schools / between desks
  • follow the mask wearing guidance as per the relevant setting
  • ensure good ventilation
  • follow the hygiene measures

Government of Jersey staff are able to visit settings provided appropriate mitigations are in place, which includes partaking in the workforce screening programme.

Consideration should be given to the benefits of the visitor attending and the measures that will be put in place to limit any potential spread of the virus, for example physical distancing, hand hygiene and keeping the visit duration to a limited time.

A register must be in place to record the contact details of all those that are on site each day such as parents, approved contractors and external agencies.

Visits by contractors should be scheduled for times when the setting is closed to children/young people wherever possible, where this is not possible children/young people should be moved from the area where work will be undertaken prior to arrival of the contractor and the area should be cleaned prior to readmitting the children/young people to it.

Deliveries and other contractors who need to attend the workplace should be given clear instructions of your requirements while they are on site. Deliveries and contractors should be asked to use electronic paperwork where possible. Hand sanitiser (with 60% to 70% alcohol content) should be available for staff after physically handling deliveries.

Returning after off-island travel

Updated 1 September

Parents and staff should consult the safer travel guidance before travelling off-island.

The following applies to children travelling to Jersey:

  • children aged 11 to 17 will be required to be tested upon arrival (day 0) and will need to isolate until their negative test result
  • children aged 10 and under will not be required to complete a travel form, undergo testing on arrival or be required to isolate

Returning to school after travelling

Jersey resident children who are returning to Jersey must not return to school or another education setting if any of the following apply:

  • the child is subject to a period of isolation
  • the child is a direct contact of a positive case of COVID-19, until they have received a negative PCR test. If they choose not to get tested, they must not attend school for 10 days

Travelling to and from settings

Children, young people and parents are encouraged to walk or cycle where possible.

School buses can operate at normal capacity with the introduction of additional public health safety measures that Liberty Bus have in place.

Other private transport (such as minibuses or coaches) used by children during their time in educational or childcare settings can operate at full capacity.

If using public or private transport children will be required to adhere to the conditions of carriage set out by those operators.

Children over the age of 11 attending primary and secondary school will have to wear face coverings as a condition of carriage on school buses. Children are encouraged to bring their own face masks but disposable face masks will be available to purchase from the driver. A supply of free face masks will be made available in all schools for children not able to cover the cost.

Anyone over the age of 11 going on a private minibus or coach will also be expected to wear a face covering.

Exemptions

Exemptions can apply if the individual (adults as well as children) has a special need, disability or condition that would make it very difficult for them to wear a face covering.

Exemptions for masks

Opening hours and drop-off and pick-up

Most settings have returned to normal opening hours. Settings may make changes to their start and finish times or introduce new drop-off and collection arrangements to keep children and families safe.

Start and finish times will be clearly communicated to parents and carers alongside any other new arrangements.

Daily drop-off, pick-up and safe access to the premises and reception area:

  • settings should consider the safe access and egress of parents, visitors and contractors (signing in/out, access around the facilities and contact with staff)
  • pick-up and drop-off procedures should be reviewed, including, signage and markings to ensure those accessing the school site remain physically distanced from other people
  • settings must take responsibility for putting measures in place to ensure that parents and children maintain 2 metres physical distancing wherever possible (and always 1 metre as a minimum) from other households when immediately outside the premises
  • parents are discouraged from gathering at setting entrances and if appropriate should be encouraged to stay in their cars
  • staggered start / finish times may be required
  • parents are not allowed to accompany their child into the setting but should say goodbye at the entrance

Gatherings and assemblies

From 6 September mixed-year assemblies are permitted depending on the individual school's risk assessment. Assemblies should last no longer than 15 minutes. Singing and the playing of brass or wind brass instruments should not take place in assemblies, and all secondary school students and staff in all education settings are required to wear a mask and nose covering during assemblies.

In addition, appropriate ventilation is always helpful and if assemblies can be held outside sensibly then this can also be considered.

It is acknowledged that in certain situations, for example extra-curricular sporting activities, children from different year groups may mix. Children from different year groups are also permitted to mix outdoors. 

Staff meetings and events to which parents or external visitors are invited should follow the guidance on events and gatherings.

A whole year group may be brought together in the school hall in order to complete exams. The following guidance should be followed:

  • students displaying any of the main symptoms of COVID must not attend (as per the general guidance they should not be in the school setting)
  • students from different classes / bubbles in primary schools should be separated by 2 metres where possible and always at least 1 metre
  • within a class / bubble / year group students should be 2 metres apart where possible and always 1 metre
  • ensure maximum ventilation of the space
  • ensure strict hand hygiene
  • ensure thorough cleaning of the room after the students have left / before any others use the room

Music

All singing and music lessons for children and young people can now be available to pupils, provided that appropriate health, safety and hygiene control measures are in place and are adhered to.

This guidance applies to all those who provide singing and music lessons to children and young people who are in full time education. This information identifies how they can adapt their practices to significantly increase safety for their pupils, staff and others in the face of COVID-19.

Guiding principles

Whether on a one-to-one or small group basis, singing, woodwind and brass music, is considered to be a higher risk activity, because of the very high risk of dispersing droplets and therefore of spreading infection. However, other instruments including keyboard, strings and percussion are considered lower risk.

This guidance applies to all age groups, including early years and primary aged children.

Children and young people in formal education settings should be kept wherever possible within their school bubbles when engaged in music that includes singing, brass or woodwind instruments. No physical distancing applies if children are participating in these activities within their bubbles.

If groups are participating in singing, brass or wind instruments outside of their bubbles, 1 metre distancing at the very least, and ideally 2 metres should be kept between anyone singing or playing brass or wind instruments, and anyone else present. 3-5 metres should be kept between any participants facing opposite others present. Adhering to safe physical distancing will determine the numbers able to safely participate in indoor settings when groups are not all from the same bubble.

The following key principles should also be followed.

As well as the guidance for all businesses and guidance for education and childcare: coronavirus (COVID-19), the following should be carefully adhered to:

  • ventilation should be maximised - windows and doors should be open wherever possible, particularly near those singing or playing brass or wind instruments.
  • rooms should be thoroughly cleaned where singing, brass or wind playing has taken place, before any further use of a room by other groups
  • Outdoor settings are preferred where weather permits

A setting-specific risk assessment should be undertaken, with consideration given to:

  • introducing staggered start and finish times to reduce congestion and contact at all times
  • based on the size of each facility, determine how many pupils can use it at any one time in order to maintain the relevant physical distances between everybody
  • introducing enhanced cleaning of all facilities throughout the day and at the end of each day
  • ensuring good hygiene practices are in place
  • ensuring that the use of shared equipment is avoided in some cases and minimised in other cases
  • ensuring that all equipment is cleaned and disinfected regularly
  • timetabling will need to be adjusted in order to ensure there is adequate time to clean instruments and the room in between lessons
  • perspex screens, where practical, are recommended to provide additional protection to those in front of pupils particularly those playing woodwind and brass instruments

Instruments

  • undertake an assessment of the types of instruments and associated equipment which may be safely shared by pupils and staff in order to limit the amount of shared resources
  • limit the resources that pupils take home and store each item for 24 hours before giving to another pupil
  • ensure that where sheet music is being used, each pupil has their own copy of the music. If this is not possible, consideration should be given to projecting words or music onto a screen
  • if instruments or equipment are used by more than one person (for example stringed instruments, keyboard, piano, drum kit, tuned percussion, CDs, audio equipment, beaters and music stands), or taken in and reallocated (for example at the end of a whole-class programme), enhanced cleaning is required
  • ensure that all instruments and equipment are effectively cleaned and maintained on a regular basis
  • plastic piano and electronic keyboards can be sanitised with disinfectant wipes (unplug electronic equipment first). Do not spray them as residues may harm key mechanisms. It is a good idea to dry keys off afterwards. Ivory keys will be damaged by most disinfectant products. Clean them with a cloth dipped in soapy water and rung out; leave the residue on for thirty seconds and wipe with a dry cloth. Handles and straps of percussion instruments and beaters should be wiped similarly
  • for wooden instruments, follow manufacturers' instructions or test your cleaning product on an inconspicuous surface. You may want to wipe the chinrests of violins or violas, but it probably is not necessary (sweat is not thought to carry viruses). The neck and fingerboard and the lower end of the bow of all bowed strings may also be wiped
  • knobs, buttons, sliders etc on ICT equipment, amplifiers, CD/MP3 players and so forth should be wiped with antiseptic wipes. Do not use sprays or soaked cloths, to avoid liquids getting inside equipment (always unplug from the mains before cleaning)
  • after five days of not being played, normal cleaning of any equipment will suffice
  • further advice on cleaning instruments can be found on the JMS website

Woodwind and brass music

  • measures must be in place to prevent the sharing of mouth-blown instruments and mouthpieces
  • for woodwind and brass instruments, ensure that they are properly cleaned and dried at the end of each lesson
  • pupils should not be allowed to blow or tip water from instruments in the teaching room
  • newspaper or paper towels (or anti-bacterial paper) should be provided for the venting of water keys and pupils should remove and dispose of their own at the end of the lesson
  • after playing, woodwind instruments should at a minimum be dried in and out with swabs or pull-throughs to limit microbial growth
  • fully drying even small brass instruments is not practical but it is extremely important to clean the mouthpiece using an appropriately sized mouthpiece brush, to ensure that all dirt and debris are removed

Ventilation

When undertaking a risk assessment and safety planning, facilities should consider how to improve/increase ventilation in order to achieve maximum air replacement/exchange rates which ensure that air containing respiratory droplets and aerosols is not recirculated.

This means:

  • ensuring that any air handling systems replace and do not recirculate air
  • using natural ventilation like windows and doors as much as possible
  • having effective air filtration systems

If you wish to seek expert advice there are five mechanical and electrical consultants in Jersey: BGT, Ennis, Hartigans, Henderson Green and Jersey Energy.

Ensure there is adequate ventilation within the room to minimise the spread of COVID-19 through droplet or air-borne transmission. Wherever possible, all spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units. Consideration should be given to timetabling additional breaks to ventilate rooms.
Where possible conduct sessions outdoors.

Cleaning premises and equipment

Wherever possible a designated room should be identified and used for the provision of music and singing tuition within the setting. Consider using outdoors wherever possible.
Normal cleaning frequencies will need to be increased depending on how often the facilities are used. For example, if there is a high level of usage, the normal cleaning frequency should be doubled. This will need to be on a case-by-case decision as cleaning frequencies may vary throughout the day depending on the number of users of the facilities. Hard surfaces that are touched frequently (for example door handles, taps, etc.) should also be cleaned more frequently in addition to standard cleaning procedures.

Cleaning strategy

Teachers and professionals involved in multiple singing / woodwind / brass sessions every day

Teachers carrying out consecutive sessions with different students should consider the additional risk this brings and it is strongly recommended that they adopt additional mitigation measures wherever possible, in addition to ensuring that all involved observe strict hand hygiene and that there is thorough cleaning between groups.
For example, they should consider increasing the physical distance between themselves and performers or using Perspex barriers, wearing face shields / masks, increasing the ventilation within the space and allowing longer periods between singing / woodwind / brass sessions to allow the aerosols to settle before cleaning.

Sports facilities

PE indoors and outdoors is permitted in accordance with the indoor and outdoor sport, fitness and physical activity guidance.

Indoor halls can be used for other non-physical activities, but cleaning must take place in line with the cleaning strategy and the relevant public health guidance followed.

Changing rooms and showers can be used following the general business guidance on communal showers and changing rooms, and in accordance with the relevant guidance within indoor and outdoor sport, fitness and physical activity which details the mitigations that should be in place. Staff are reminded of the importance of strictly observing all mitigation measures particularly those regarding bubbles and hygiene within changing rooms and showers.

Community use of facilities

Setting facilities can be used by community users out of operating hours if the required cleaning procedures can be adhered to.

Areas used by the group, for example hall and toilet facilities, should be cleaned before and after the external group has used the areas. All other relevant guidance should be followed.

Catering

All settings providing catering are able to resume if they can demonstrate adherence to all public health guidance and specifically the guidance for safe food preparation during COVID-19. The provision of a meal service must form part of your risk assessment and you must demonstrate that physical distancing controls are maintained.

Children in different year groups should be kept separate as much as possible within the canteen area – they should eat in clearly separated areas of the canteen. Where it is not possible for children to queue for food in separate year groups, measures must be in place to ensure that individuals' ideally queue 2 metres apart (and at least 1 metre aparet) and that the duration of queuing is kept to a minimum.

Where it is not possible to provide a canteen service, pupils may all be required to bring a packed lunch or will be provided one by the caterer. No sharing of food, cutlery, crockery or self-service of food should take place.

Staff rooms

Where possible, stagger staff breaks and encourage staff to physically distance in break rooms and when using shared spaces. Ensure the gatherings guidance is adhered to.

School leaders should consider 2 metres physical distancing (and always at least 1 metre) between adults in staff room / areas where staff congregate inside for over 15 minutes as part of their business continuity plans. This is because if a member of staff tested positive, they will be contact traced and all direct contacts, those within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes, would be considered a direct contact and need to self-isolate for 14 days.

In addition:

  • food can now be prepared in the staff room if strict hygiene can be assured, for example wiping surfaces and touch points after each use
  • drinks can be prepared subject to strict hygienic precautions
  • staff should only use their own utensils and wash these themselves
  • the room should be well-ventilated
  • staff should take their break in the same group or work bubble where possible
  • put processes in place to regularly monitor and review the implementation of measures
  • ensure that bins for tissues and hand towels are emptied throughout the day

Headteachers should consider how inset and regular training will be delivered, being aware of the need for staff to physically distance and limiting the number of people involved. Where inset and training is being delivered, including between different schools, staff members should maintain 2 metres physical distancing wherever possible and always at least 1 metre. Mask wearing is also strongly recommended, and appropriate sanitation and hand hygiene routines should be followed.

Staff are not obliged to wear a mask while in the staff room but may do so if they prefer.

Staff can use dedicated staff shower and changing facilities following the general business guidance on communal showers and changing rooms, which details the cleaning processes that should be in place. Staff are reminded of the importance of strictly observing measures regarding hygiene within changing rooms / showers.

Exams and assemblies

From 6 September mixed-year assemblies are permitted depending on the individual school's risk assessment. Assemblies should last no longer than 15 minutes. Singing and the playing of brass or wind brass instruments should not take place in assemblies, and all secondary school students and staff in all education settings are required to wear a mask and nose covering during assemblies.

In addition, appropriate ventilation is always helpful and if assemblies can be held outside sensibly then this can also be considered.

A whole year group may be brought together in the school hall in order to complete exams. The following guidance should be followed:

  • students displaying any of the main symptoms of COVID must not attend (as per the general guidance they should not be in the school setting)
  • students from different classes / bubbles in primary schools should be separated by 2 metres where possible and always at least 1 metre
  • within a class, bubble or year group students should be 2 metres apart where possible and always more than 1 metre apart
  • ensure maximum ventilation of the space
  • ensure strict hand hygiene
  • ensure thorough cleaning of the room after the students have left / before any others use the room

School events and performances

Secondary schools and colleges may resume events and performances provided that they adopt appropriate measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

When planning an event or performance, including activities such as rehearsals, schools must undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment and safety plan to identify measures required to mitigate the risk of COVID -19 transmission. Consideration should be given to:

Testing

The evening immediately before or on the morning of an event or performance, including rehearsals, students, staff members and volunteers participating should perform a lateral flow test. This should be undertaken using at-home lateral flow test kits. The relevant guidance on symptoms and testing in education settings apply.

Mask-wearing

Secondary school students, staff members and volunteers in all settings must wear face masks as far as reasonably practicable, however it is recognised this may not be possible when actively participating in performances and rehearsals. Additional measures should be considered such as physical distancing and limiting the amount of time that individuals are in close contact with one another

Hygiene and cleaning

Schools and colleges should promote cleanliness and personal hygiene measures.

These include and are not limited to:

  • the use of clear signage
  • regular handwashing
  • adequate availability of hand sanitiser
  • enhanced cleaning regimes

Clean and sanitise all production resources where this is practicable. These include:

  • set
  • lighting
  • props
  • costumes

Consideration should be given to ways of limiting the use of shared resources

Ventilation

Schools and colleges should deploy good ventilation measures in areas and rooms where events, performances and rehearsals are taking place in order to ensure that air quality is optimal for students, staff and audience members. This can be natural ventilation through windows, doors and vents, and mechanical ventilation

Portable carbon dioxide monitors should be used to monitor CO2 level build-up in areas where rehearsals and performances are taking place. Action should be taken to improve ventilation where high concentrations of CO2 are identified

The relevant guidance on ventilation in education settings should be followed at all times

Physical distancing

Wherever reasonably practicable, rehearsals should be scheduled to minimise the number of participants present at any one time

Physical distancing should be encouraged through increased spacing, small groups and limited mixing between groups

Maintaining up to 2 meters physical distancing remains the safest option. Wherever reasonably practicable, interaction between different primary school bubbles or secondary school year groups for rehearsals or performances should be limited

Where it is not reasonably practicable to maintain physical distancing, schools and colleges should seek to limit the amount of close contact between individuals and consider other appropriate control measures such as mask wearing

Records

A register should be kept of the students, staff members and volunteers attending for the purpose of contact tracing should the need arise.

Schools and colleges must use a range of measures to create safe environments and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. These measures are intended to minimise risks to students, staff and their families, and may look different in each setting as they will depend on the individual configuration of each setting. The risk assessment and safety plan, which should be subject to continual timely updating, will identity sensible measures that can be put in place to minimise the risks of COVID-19 transmission.

Specific guidance relating to events and performances

Secondary schools and colleges should have a clear plan outlining how to manage a student, audience member, staff member or other visitor who develops symptoms or receives a positive COVID-19 test result while in an education setting. This should include how they safely seek health advice if necessary and safely exit the setting without putting others at risk. 

Physical distancing between individuals and reducing crowding where possible should be encouraged wherever reasonably practicable. Contact Tracing identifies close contacts as anyone within 2 meters of a positive case for 15 minutes or more, so maintaining up to 2 meters of physical distancing remains the safest option. 

Secondary schools and colleges should calculate acceptable audience attendance based on venue capacity. 

It is acknowledged that it is not always possible to maintain physical distancing in performance settings so space should be maximised where able to do so. This can include using outdoor spaces if available, using floor markers, one-way systems, splitting people into mutually exclusive groups/zones/cohorts, increasing high use facilities if able to (such as the number of toilets, break areas), or reducing capacity in some or all areas of the setting. 

Event organisers should also consider additional risk management in congested areas such as hallways and entry and exit points. This may include limiting the number of individuals who congregate in these areas, staggered entry and exit, or greater levels of ventilation in these areas. 

Mask should be worn when moving around school buildings, including event and performance spaces and in communal areas. Audience members are not required to wear masks when they are seated and watching performances.

Singing or use of wind and brass instruments

Singing and the use of wind and brass instruments are permitted. Singing and the use of wind and brass instruments at close range to audiences presents a higher COVID-19 risk because infectious respiratory droplets can be sprayed or propelled further.

In addition to maximised ventilation, the physical space between performers and audiences should be of no less than 2 metres between performers and no less than 3 metres between performers and audiences. Distances lower than this should be avoided as these pose the highest risks. The school risk assessment must reflect this.

Extra-curricular activities

Settings that wish to offer extra-curricular activities can do so provided that:

  1. After school activities are part of the schools' curriculum and for educational purposes
  2. Wherever possible, the participants remain in the same bubble that they are in during the school day. The bubble requirement does not apply where children are mixing outdoors.

  3. All the mitigations set out within safety plans, risk assessments and this guidance are followed

School and nursery trips

School and nursery trips and residentials on island can take place. On island trips or residentials should be for no more than one class size bubble. The 2 metre physical distancing requirement should be observed wherever possible when off school premises, with the additional requirement of minimising, as much as possible, contact with people not from your bubble, class, group or school.

At the current time off-island trips are not recommended.

School proms

School proms (off school premises) can take place provided that the relevant current food and drinks guidance is followed by the venue and those attending.

Interschool activities

Pupils from one school may attend another school as part of organised interschool activities, provided the following mitigations can be followed:

  • guidance that applies within the school setting regarding hygiene, cleaning, limiting shared resources, transport, etc can be followed
  • physical distancing requirements, as per the school setting, can be followed, with the additional requirement of minimising, as much as possible, contact with people not from your bubble, class, group or school
  • activities that take place outdoors are preferred
  • those organising such activities will also need to take account of relevant related guidance for example the guidance pertaining to sport.
  • where parent volunteers are required to help / supervise this is allowed

For any interschool activities or all year group events that may involve more than two schools, for example an island-wide sports event or more than one year group such as a whole school sports day, a full risk assessment should be undertaken and details of the event provided well in advance to Nick Jewell N.Jewell@gov.je so the event to be fully risk assessed.

The risk assessment will need to include mitigation measures that clearly address how the public health guidance will be adhered to at all times during the activity and specifically how any changes from the normal setting are communicated to children and young people.

It is acknowledged that while guidance permits interschool activities those responsible for organising and staffing such activities may decide against doing so, given the additional workload that is required.

Additional considerations for early years settings

Direct contacts

Where a child is identified as a direct contact in an early years setting, they are not be required to leave nursery immediately to take a PCR test unless they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. This does not prevent a parent or carer from taking their child out of nursery immediately to be tested should they choose to do so. 

A child who has been identified as a direct contact should take a PCR test within three days. Alongside taking a PCR test, any child identified as a direct contact should take daily lateral flow tests at home for 10-days after they are identified as a direct contact.

Guidance

Early years settings should consider the following:

  • plan to support the forming of class or room size bubbles in individual physical spaces
  • designated staff should be assigned to each bubble and meet required adult and child ratios
  • the maximum number of children will be the equivalent of class or room size
  • children and staff should remain in the same group with the same children every day where possible
  • all ratios must continue to be met as per the Early Years Statutory Requirements
  • staffing ensures appropriate cover for break/non-contact times across the service
  • regular handwashing and good hygiene practices must be supported by adults, especially around daily routines, like snack time and toileting
  • no sharing of food, cutlery or crockery should take place, although children can be supported with self-service snack, promoting independence and establishing daily routines 
  • different bubbles are permitted to mix outdoors at the same time
  • sensory play equipment (inside or outside), should only be used by a limited group of children from the same bubble good hygiene practices including thorough handwashing must be supported before and after the use of sensory play equipment 
  • water trays and troughs must be emptied and cleaned daily, ensuring the sanitising of tools and equipment used regularly
  • all frequently touched surfaces, equipment, tools and resources used for messy play are to be cleaned frequently
  • the condition of toys and equipment should be part of the monitoring process and any damaged item that cannot be cleaned or repaired should be discarded
  • use outdoor space as much as possible for learning and play
  • for babies and younger children physical contact is necessary and essential for positive brain development. Ensure you follow the hygiene rules and ensure you minimise any risk with regular hand washing and ensuring daily personal hygiene is maintained
  • children should be supported in age-appropriate ways to understand the steps they can take to keep themselves safe including regular hand washing and sneezing into a tissue
  • children should be supported to understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering as a result of COVID-19 and staff need to ensure they are aware of children's attachments and their need for emotional support at this time
  • equipment used by staff such as stationery, tablets etc. should be allocated to individual staff members where possible and cleaned regularly

Keeping staff safe

Ensuring all mitigations are in place and supporting all staff to follow the mitigations, keeps both staff and others safe. Furthermore, it reduces the risks of staff getting and transmitting COVID-19 and being isolated which also supports business continuity.

  • use consistent bubbling of staff teams where possible to reduce risk of wider transmission
  • staggering breaktimes for staff, reconfiguring seating and tables to optimise spacing and reduce face-to-face interactions in common areas, ensure separate cutlery is allocated for each member of staff and ensure regular sanitising of surfaces and touch points. It is recommended staff need to retain 2 metres, with a minimum of 1 metre at all times, including if taking outdoor breaks
  • arrange for staff to arrive and leave separately or in bubbles and stagger times where possible
  • offer higher risk staff alternative back of house tasks or quieter shifts where possible
  • use digital platforms for meetings, debriefing and training. Maintain 2 metres distance, use well ventilated rooms or meet outside
  • ensure the COVID risk assessment is regularly reviewed, shared and accessible to all staff. Managers and staff should make time for discussing safety plans ensuring they are understood and achievable as well as allowing individual staff needs to be raised and managed

Induction days

These can take place within the following guidelines:

  • new children and parents can attend but whenever parents are on site relevant mitigations especially physical distancing, masks and hygiene must be adhered to
  • induction days and the mitigation measures associated with them must be included in your risk assessment
  • ensure that no children or parents that are symptomatic or are isolating for any reason attend the event
  • the visits may take place while the current nursery children are on site provided relevant mitigations are adhered to
  • if the visit is taking place after current nursery children have left the site, any areas of the setting that the parents and new children will be occupying for the event must be thoroughly cleaned both after the current nursey children have left for the day and after the visitors have left ready for the children to come back in the next morning
  • physical distancing must be adhered to between different grown-ups from different households
  • all those entering the premises should be asked to thoroughly wash or sanitise their hands on arrival
  • limit the amount of time where all attendees are present in the same room – spend as much of the event outdoors as possible
  • the setting should keep a record of all those attending for the purposes of contact tracing should the need arise

Home visits

Introductory home visits by early years staff in the homes of new children can continue following the guidance for people working in other people's homes.

Additional considerations for nannies

Nannies are able to work in their employer's home, providing that the relevant public health guidance is followed.

An open line of communication between each employer and nanny is essential and each employer and nanny should consider their individual circumstances accordingly.

The employer must ensure that they also strictly follow the isolation guidance if they, or a household member, are confirmed as COVID-19 or have symptoms. Under such circumstances the nanny should not come to work until the isolation period has ended.

Employers should ensure that they have a single set of PPE available in the house for the nanny (consisting of disposable gloves, disposable apron and surgical grade mask). In the case of a child or the nanny starting to display COVID-19 symptoms while the nanny is at work, the nanny should put on the PPE provided by their employers and contact them to request their return to the home immediately.

Live-in nannies

Nannies that live in the same property as the family are considered to be part of their household and the public health guidance should be applied as such.

Shared nannies

Nannies can move between two families providing that all public health guidance is adhered to at all times. One nanny could work between two households and this would create a one nanny bubble. This would mean that the nanny could work in both homes and outings could take place with the children from within this one bubble. Group sizes are to be kept to a maximum of six children. While looking after children within their homes the nanny and the children in their care are considered part of a 'bubble' and therefore it is understood that they will have contact with each other and share play resources while inside the children's house and garden etc.

Additional considerations for baby and toddler playgroups

Established baby and toddler playgroups, which have a lead organiser, can take place. with no restriction on numbers.

When there are less than 10 children, there is no need to collect contact details.

The limit of 10 children does not includes children under 5 years old or any adults supporting the children.

The person organising the activity must  be able to demonstrate adherence to the public health guidance regarding ventilation, hygiene and cleaning. In addition to all guidance for early years settings, baby, toddler and playgroups should consider the following:

  • symptoms – settings should put processes in place to make sure that parents / carers do not attend the group if they or their children display symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently returned from travel and are isolating
  • collecting contact information - settings must ensure they record the details of all attendees and have this information available to share with the authorities should there be a confirmed case in the setting
  • physical distancing – all adults should observe 2 metres physical distancing from anyone outside of their household wherever possible and always 1 metre and the setting should have a process in place to ensure that all adult attendees adhere to this

  • food and drinks – parents / carers should bring their own food / drinks and provide individually wrapped snacks. If settings offer any food or drink, they are required to follow the food and drink guidance
  • activities – groups should consider running activities that do not require the sharing of toys or equipment, for example where each child has their own toy / equipment and it can be washed before and after they have used it
  • toys – settings should think very carefully about what toys / equipment is made available and wherever possible limit the number of items. These should be restricted to things that have a hard surface that can be easily cleaned between users. All toys should be cleaned between use by different children. See the guidance relating to early years settings (which also apply to baby and toddler groups) for more guidance on soft play 

  • cleaning – as well as each setting having an enhanced cleaning regime, parents / carers should be encouraged to bring alcohol wipes along with them and asked to clean toys that their child/ren have touched before they are played with by another child
  • ventilation – settings should follow the ventilation guidance (see section 'advice for all businesses') and where safe to do so should maximise natural ventilation as much as possible, before, during and after a group
  • further information and support is available from the Jersey Child Care Trust (JCCT) and the Childcare and Early Years' Service (CEYS)

Direct contacts

To help protect others and slow the spread of Covid-19 the parent of any child who is a direct contact of a positive case is strongly recommended not to attend baby and toddler playgroups until they have received a negative PCR test. They should also take daily lateral flow tests for 10 days after their negative PCR result. 

Additional considerations for breakfast, after school and holiday clubs

In addition to the general guidance breakfast, after school and holiday clubs should consider the following:

  • ensure you follow the hygiene rules and ensure you minimise any risk with regular hand washing and by ensuring that daily personal hygiene is maintained
  • all resources should be cleaned and wiped regularly 
  • limit the amount of shared resources and wherever possible clean between the use of different groups of children
  • shared materials and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected frequently
  • no sharing of food, cutlery, crockery or self-service of food should take place
  • soft toys, furnishing and dressing-up costumes, including dolls clothing, can now be used. These should be washed regularly. 
  • for younger children physical contact is necessary and essential for positive brain development. Ensure you follow the hygiene rules and ensure you minimise any risk with regular hand washing and by ensuring that daily personal hygiene is maintained
  • children should be supported in age-appropriate ways to understand the steps they can take to keep themselves safe including regular handwashing and sneezing into a tissue
  • children should be supported to understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering as a result of COVID-19 and staff need to ensure they are aware of children's attachments and their need for emotional support at this time
  • parents and carers are allowed to pick up and drop off their children from inside buildings

Direct contacts

A student or staff member who is a direct contact of a positive case of COVID-19 may continue to attend a breakfast club, after school club or holiday club unless they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

A child who has been identified as a direct contact will be required to take a PCR test within three days. Alongside taking a PCR test, any student or staff member identified as a direct contact should take daily lateral flow tests at home for 10 days after they are identified as a direct contact.

Masks

There is no requirement for children aged under 12 to wear mouth and nose coverings while attending holiday clubs.

All children and young people aged 12 and over attending holiday clubs should wear masks when moving around in indoor areas within the premises, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

Staff are strongly encouraged to wear mouth and nose coverings within indoor communal areas in these settings but staff are not required to wear masks when inside with children in their rooms/areas.

More information on masks

Communicating with parents and carers

Settings are advised to communicate directly with parents, children and young people on an ongoing basis. This will enable them to remain informed and able to discuss any anxieties or practicalities.

Display Government posters and signage in appropriate languages. Circulate official communications from Dr Muscat and others.

Tell parents that if their child needs to be accompanied to the educational setting, only one parent should attend, and physical distancing must be observed.

Tell parents, children and young people of their allocated drop-off and collection times and the process for doing so, including protocols for minimising adult-to-adult contact (for example, which entrance to use and where possible parents to stay in their cars).

Make clear to parents that they cannot gather at entrance gates or doors or enter the site unless they have a pre-arranged appointment.

Specific guidance for early years and childcare settings

Parents using your service should be informed of the following:

  • remind your child that they are expected to follow good hygiene practices - wash and dry their hands regularly, cough into their elbow, don't touch their face
  • let your child know that they will see more cleaning
  • talk to your child about why it is important that they do not share any food or drinks with others
  • children should not be permitted to bring items from home into the setting unless absolutely essential for their wellbeing. Where this is the case items should be appropriately cleaned upon arrival
  • ensure travel accessories including buggies, car seats and scooters are not left on the setting premises, but rather in external buggy shelters if necessary
  • explain to your child why it's important that they must arrive and leave the grounds at their allotted time
  • let the children know that parents are not allowed into the provision and they will say goodbye to them outside the door where they will be met by a member of staff they know
  • at pick-up time talk to your child about trying to remember all their things and that you will be waiting outside to collect them. Staff will support this

Checklist for parents and carers

1. Monitor your child's health and keep them home from school if they are ill

2. Teach and model good hygiene practices for your children:

  • explain that they should wash their hands with soap and water frequently. As a minimum, children should wash their hands, on leaving home, before and after eating, after using any shared equipment / resources, after using the toilet, after sneezing or coughing and on returning home

  • if soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitiser (with 60% to 70% alcohol content). Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty

  • ensure waste (such as used tissues) is safely collected, stored and disposed of

  • cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, nose

3. Encourage your children to ask questions and express their feelings with you and their teachers. Remember that your child may have different reactions to stress; be patient and understanding

4. Prevent stigma by using facts and reminding your children to be considerate of one another

5. Explain to your child why it's important that they must arrive and leave the grounds at their allotted time

6. Let younger children know that parents are not allowed into the provision and they will say goodbye to them outside the door where they will be met by a member of staff they know

7. Talk to your child about trying to remember all their things at pick up time

8. Let younger children know that you will be waiting outside to collect them

9. Coordinate with the setting to receive information and ask how you can support school safety efforts

Checklist for children and students

Know that you are not alone and talk to someone you trust, like your parents or teachers so that you can help keep yourself and your school safe and healthy. Ask questions, educate yourself and get information from reliable sources. In a situation like this it is normal to feel sad, worried, confused, scared or angry.

1. Protect yourself and others

  • wash your hands frequently, always with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • remember to not touch your face
  • do not share cups, eating utensils, food or drinks with others

2. Be a leader in keeping yourself, your school, family and community healthy

  • share what you learn about preventing disease with your family and friends, especially with younger children
  • model good practices such as sneezing or coughing into your elbow and washing your hands, especially for younger family members

3. Don't tease anyone about being sick; remember that the virus doesn't follow geographical boundaries, ethnicities, age, ability or gender

4. Tell your parents, another family member, or a caregiver if you feel sick, and ask to stay at home

Further support

If you haven't found the information you are looking for, contact the CYPES Hub cypeshub@gov.je.



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