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Covid Risk Assessment

Here is our latest risk assessment re: Covid-19 - 1 April 2021

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Covid-19 Risk Assessment for April 2021 – for parents and staff (updated 1.4.2021)

  1. We have reviewed and updated our risk assessment from March 2021 in light of the latest advice and local restrictions – updates are highlighted in yellow
  2. The Government has directed that all young people and staff, who are not clinically extremely vulnerable, return to school from the 8th March 2021.
  3. This has been shared with all staff and their views have been considered.


Area of risk that must be addressed

Government guidance

Implications for students, families and staff (stake holders) – what measures the school is taking to minimalize risks


Effective infection protection and controls

Schools are being asked to focus on key areas:

  1. A requirement that people who are ill stay at home
  2. Robust hand and respiratory hygiene
  3. Enhanced cleaning arrangements
  4. Active engagements with NHS Test and Trace
  5. Formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and minimalize distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimalize potential for contamination so far as reasonably practicable


There is no evidence that children transmit Covid any more than adults and that staff in education are at any greater risk than any other occupation

  • Stake holders will need to adjust to a number of new routines.
  • Families will need to support students by sharing guidance and advice in this assessment so that students know
  • Groups (students and staff) will remain in a bubble and will not mix with other groups, each group will have a timetable that keeps them from other groups
  • Staff will only work in one bubble – if there are not enough staff in a class to support safely, a risk assessment will be done and some students will have to go home
  • The no mixing rule also applies to being in the playground
  • No shaking hands or high fives at any time  
  • Hands will be washed regularly and thoroughly throughout the day and with support if required
  • Students not complying will have to go home or be isolated in school
  • Students or staff who show symptoms to be isolated immediately and sent home asap – parents have all agreed to pick up within 1 hour
  • Staff will all wear masks in corridors and other public places and are encouraged to also wear masks in class  
  • Students will be encouraged to wear masks in corridors and other public places (not class base)
  • All windows will be left open for minimum of 15 minutes when classrooms are empty – to ventilate rooms


Staff & students showing symptoms or testing positive  


Settings must

  1. Minimalize contact with individuals who are unwell
  2. Isolate individuals in a room behind a closed door and open a window for ventilation
  3. If not possible – individual must be 2m from others, who must wear PPE if possible  
  4. If toilet is used while waiting to go home – it must be cleaned afterwards



Individuals who have tested positive are not to attend school for 10 days after testing positive

  • Individuals showing symptoms will be isolated in a room behind closed door as soon as they show symptoms – ideally a window will be opened – this will be the medical room or the meeting room   
  • If students can’t be isolated, then staff to support from 2m – with PPE if possible – in the hall
  • Individuals will be sent home as soon as possible after they show symptoms – parents must support this & pick up students asap
  • Parents have signed an agreement to this effect (or students will not be allowed in school)
  • Staff must inform SLT if they test positive - they cannot then attend school for 10 days after positive test
  • Parents must inform school if their son / daughter tests positive and must keep them at home for 10 days after positive test


Washing hands – and respiratory hygiene   

Settings to ensure that all adults and students:


    1. frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly. 
    2. clean their hands on arrival at setting, when they return from breaks, when they change rooms, before and after eating and after sneezing or coughing
    3. are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
    4. use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (these must be emptied throughout the day)
    5. have help when they have trouble cleaning their hands 
    6. learn and practice these habits through games, songs and repetition
    7. are in well ventilated rooms with prop doors open where safe to do so to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation


- Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitizer 

- Have enough tissues available at all times

- Clean surfaces that young people are touching more regularly than normal

  • Staff will help students to understand the changes to their daily routines.
  • Each group will have sanitizer readily available in all rooms to use regularly throughout the day
  • Staff will clean surfaces regularly and after every activity with cleaning agents provided
  • Staff and students will wash hands thoroughly before and after every activity through the day – 20 seconds minimum and with soap
  • Students and staff to wash hands on arrival at school and before departure each day
  • Staff will support all students to do this as best as they can
  • Doors and windows will be open as much as possible through each day to allow ventilation
  • All windows will be left open for minimum of 15 minutes when classrooms are empty – to ventilate rooms



Sanitizer and tissues are available in every room at all times – this is in the yellow Covid kit box kept in each room (supplied by the site team)


PPE and face masks

Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended.


PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases including:

  1. Children whose care routinely involves PPE equipment.
  2. If a 2 metre distance cannot be maintained from a child unwell with the symptoms of coronavirus.

The recommendation regarding face masks relates to both adults and children, so staff and students do not have to wear masks in class but  

  • PPE will be provided if students or staff request it and it is available
  • Staff will use the usual equipment (gloves & aprons) when carrying out intimate care – & sanitize changing beds & all surfaces thoroughly afterwards
  • Staff will all wear masks in corridors and other public places and are encouraged to also wear masks in class 
  • Students will be encouraged to wear masks in corridors and other public places (not class base)


Lunch and food

Settings are expected to have their kitchens open to serve school lunches. Students should be brought their lunch in their classrooms

  • Due to social distancing measures, children will be eating with their groups in their classrooms (bubbles) and not in the hall
  • Food will be brought to the classrooms by class staff, who bring it from the kitchen when they are called to do so


Social distancing

It is still important to reduce contact between people as much as possible.


Where settings can keep young people in small groups 2 metres away from each other, they should do so.

While in general groups should be kept apart, brief, transitory contact, such as passing in a corridor, is low risk.

We know that, unlike mainstream children and adults, some SEN students cannot be expected to remain 2m apart from each other and staff – due to their special needs

  • Students will need to adapt & keep to new routines and groups
  • Students will only use communal spaces such as the hall, pool or playground when in their own group – there will be no assemblies or ‘Lancaster Live’ in the hall and the playground will be sectioned off with allocated areas and times for class group / bubble
  • No more than one group will use communal spaces at a time. 


Stake holders will agree that staff will be doing our best to implement appropriate social distancing measures, it will be impossible, as the government acknowledges, to always maintain a 2m distance at all times.


Class sizes

Settings should keep groups together where possible &:

  • ensure that young people are in same small groups at all times each day, and different groups are not mixed.
  • ensure that the same teacher(s) and other staff are assigned to each group and, as far as possible, these stay the same during the day and on subsequent days.
  • ensure that wherever possible children and young people use the same classroom or area of a setting throughout the day, with a thorough cleaning of the rooms at the end of the day.
  • We will have up to 12 students in each class group
  • Each group will have their own room
  • Each group will have a timetable of activities that ensures they do not mix with other groups
  • Staff will only work in one bubble – if there are not enough staff in a class to support safely, a risk assessment will be done and some students will have to go home


Reducing mixing

Settings must do everything possible to minimise contact and mixing while delivering a broad and balanced curriculum.


  • Class groups should be kept separated - in bubbles
  • Social distance should be maintained by individuals as much as possible
  • Bubbles should be consistent so that positive cases can be dealt isolated with minimum disruption
  • Bubbles should be an appropriate size for the setting
  • It is recognised that individuals with complex needs may not maintain social distancing 
  • Staff can operate across different classes, but interactions should be kept to a minimum
  • Individuals should maintain distance from others where possible
  • Settings should make adaptions to rooms to support distancing – moving unnecessary furniture & having students sitting next to each other – not face to face
  • Settings should avoid assemblies
  • Moving around the school should be kept to a minimum & creating busy corridors avoided
  • Use of staff room should be minimalized
  • Settings should stagger breaks to limit children moving around school.
  • Settings should stagger lunch breaks - groups should be kept apart as much as possible
  • Parents and staff will need to support students with new routines
  • School will need to have very clear boundaries in place to ensure that the children stay as safe as is practically possible throughout the day.
  • Students & staff will enter and leave the building through different doors – planned as follows

Southend, Rochford & Canewdon classes – to use the Eastwood entrance 

Canvey, Chalkwell & Westcliff classes – to use entrance next to Head's office

Old Leigh & Hawkwell - use the main entrance and then turn right and use the corridor to the rehab room then walk across the outside path to rooms 

Hockley class – to use the main entrance and turn left and go to class 

  • Timetables will keep the groups apart - & be followed meticulously
  • Groups will be placed as far away from each other as possible
  • Use of toilets will be monitored carefully so that there is no crowding
  • Staff and students should not enter the admin offices without permission – there will be a skeleton team working in each office  
  • No assemblies or gatherings in the hall
  • Lunch will be in classes & breaks on a Rota
  • Only allocated staff use staff room (Hockley will use the staff room)– remaining staff will be allocated areas that are labeled in the hall
  • The meeting room will not be used for teachers’ meetings – these meetings will be conducted in the hall with teachers sitting on separate tables to maintain social distancing 
  • Admin staff, caretaker, nurse and senior leaders will keep their movements between rooms to an absolute minimum


Shared rooms and resources

For individual and very frequently used equipment such as pens it is recommended that everyone has their own. Other resources such as books and games can be shared in each bubble and should be cleaned regularly.


Resources such as PE and art equipment, as well as shared physio and sensory equipment, should be cleaned thoroughly after each use.


Outdoor equipment, such as the outdoor gym and bikes, should be cleaned frequently and after each use.

  • Timetables will dictate when groups use shared facilities such as the hall, pool, the cooking room and the playground
  • Students will be given their own pencil case – for their pens and personal equipment
  • Resources and equipment that is shared will be shared but only by those in a class group – then cleaned by staff after every use
  • Surfaces in shared rooms and areas (cooking room, PE equipment, outside gym, photocopiers, shredders) will be cleaned thoroughly by staff after each session




Timetable for normal day – drop off, pick up & meetings  

Settings should

  • Consider how lessons may take place outdoors where possible.
  • Reduce movement around the building as much as possible.
  • Stagger the start of the day drop off times, playtimes and lunchtimes and the end of the day collections times
  • Plan protocols for parents at drop off and collection to minimize adult contact.
  • See timetable info in above sections
  • We will only allow one adult to drop off / collect a student
  • Parents cannot gather in groups anywhere on or near the site – 2 metres social distancing should be adhered to at all times
  • Parents can contact school staff via phone or email – there will be no face to face meetings.
  • Transport companies will be given list an of which entrances students use & will be told to only use those doors
  • Parents will be told which entrance / exit to use for their son / daughter and told to only use the allocated one
  • Staff will manage drop off and pick up times so students only enter their allocated entry / exit doors
  • Where possible Lancaster staff will work on buses with their bubbles only. Where this is not possible for logistic reasons, and to ensure students can get to school and staff can continue to work, Lancaster staff can continue with their routes as long as they run COVID safe practices 


Swimming – infection protection & controls.

See points 1, 2, 6 and 8

  • Classes timetabled to swim in the school pool will use the pool
  • Classes can only swim if they have a lifeguard in their team
  • Swimming / rehab staff will be allocated to classes and will work only in their allocated classes
  • Students will only swim in their own classes in timetabled slots – they will not move groups
  • After each session, class staff will wipe all surfaces and handles in the changing rooms thoroughly with disinfectant


Cleaning of class rooms & toilets

Settings must put in place a cleaning schedule that ensures cleaning is enhanced and includes more frequent cleaning of rooms or shared areas and of frequently touched areas.


Toilet blocks can be shared by groups and toilets need to be cleaned regularly and students to wash hands thoroughly after using toilets


  • Cleaners will clean each room & toilet at the end of each day thoroughly and will ensure all surfaces and door handles are cleaned with disinfectant
  • Staff will clean all surfaces and handles in their rooms after each activity through each day – using the sanitizing kit provided
  • Staff will need to wipe surfaces and handles in toilets regularly through the day, when they aware toilets have been used


Start and finish of the day

Settings should consider staggering starts or adjusting start and finishing times of the day

  • We do not need a staggered start or finish to the day as all students can safely arrive and leave from their entry / exit doors – this is completed safely in 15 minutes



expectations and changes

Settings should prepare students for changes by using social stories

  • Teachers should prepare social stories & suitable materials to support new timetables, routines and expectations
  • These should be suitable for the learners in their classes


Support from other professionals

Specialists, therapists, clinicians and other support staff should provide interventions as usual. They should have minimal contact and maintain social distance

  • Visiting professionals should come in and carry out their normal duties, with minimal contact and under guidance from their own risk assessments
  • These visits will not be in the class but in a safe room, away from the class – the hall, the music room, the rehab room or the meeting room


Engaging with NHS track & trace

Settings (staff, parents and carers) must ensure they understand the T&T process and how to contact their local public health England team.


Individuals who show symptoms must be ready and willing to book a test, provide details of anyone they have been in contact with and isolate if they have been in contact with anyone who develops coronavirus.


Essential workers, including staff, can and should get a test if the display symptoms (NHS website or NHS 119)

  • Staff, parents and carers must know how the T&T works and follow the process – those who do not will not be allowed in school
  • Staff, parents and carers must follow the Governments advice on showing symptoms and testing

17. Manage confirmed Corona Virus cases

Settings must take swift action when a case of CV is confirmed & contact the DfE helpline


Settings must send home people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive & advise them to self-isolate for 14 days since their last close contact with that person (close contact = face to face under 1 metre, extended close contact with 1 – 2 metres for more than 15 mins and travelling in a small vehicle)


Settings that have 2 or more confirmed cases within 14 days must work with the local health team for advise and action.

  • The Head and / or Deputy will contact the DfE helpline when a case of Covid is confirmed – 0800-046-8687
  • The Head and / or Deputy will follow the Governments advice to the letter
  • The Head and / or Deputy will inform the Executive Head of the MAT if there are Covid cases in the school



Clinically vulnerable & pregnant staff

Most staff will be able to return to work, including those who are pregnant. Staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable should take particular care.


Staff who live with those who are clinically extremely vulnerable can attend work

  • Staff, parents or carers who feel that they ae unable to work due to being at risk must discuss this with The Head and / or Deputy
  • Parents or carers who feel that their son / daughter is unable to attend school due to being at risk must discuss this with The Head and / or Deputy
  • The Head has completed a risk assessment for each student who is isolating and this includes plans for remote learning



CP & safeguarding policies should be updated to reflect Covid advice. Leaders should be allocated time to support students with safeguarding concerns.

  • See policies




Settings are advised not to have overnight or overseas visits


Settings can resume non-residential trips – in line with Covid protective measures and in bubbles only


Settings may make sure of outdoor spaces in their local area – and consider what Covid protective measures are in place when they plan this

  • Plans for residential trips are on hold, as are trips abroad
  • School can plan and carry out non-residential trips but the risk assessment must reflect Covid protective measures clearly
  • Students and the class / bubble staff can only take part in trips in their class bubbles


After school / holiday clubs

Settings should consider resuming these asap and try to keep students in bubbles where possible



  • We will run Easter holiday clubs – football, outdoor activities, drama and swim / bikes / leisure
  • Clubs will be made up of students from different class bubbles and all those with consent – staff and students - will be tested at the start of each day
  • If any member of a club tests positive, everyone in the club will go home and isolate
  • The usual Covid safe practices apply to clubs
  • Clubs will spend as much time outside as possible during each day



Settings should make sure the curriculum is broad and balanced & high quality and delivered remotely if that is needed


RSHE must be taught


Settings should note that there may be additional risk in singing, chanting, playing wind & brass instruments and shouting – these risks should be considered via distancing, groups of no more than 15, playing outside, good ventilation, positioning of learners & no sharing of instruments

  • Heads of learning and SLT will review the curriculum & make sure students are getting the best we can offer in the circumstances
  • RSHE will be taught in class bubbles only – each week
  • Music lessons will be taught in class bubbles by bubble teachers – not the Deputy (until it is safe to have staff crossing bubbles)


Physical activities

Settings should keep students in their bubbles for PE and equipment should be cleaned after each use


Outdoor sports should be prioritized


Settings can work with external coaches when they are satisfied is safe to do so

Contact sports should be avoided


Activities such as ‘active mile’ walking should be continued, with consideration for social distancing

  • We will follow the Government’s advice
  • Teachers will plan for regular walks, as they normally do, and take any opportunity to plan extra outdoor activities and exercise  


Student well-being

Settings should consider

    • supporting the rebuilding of friendships and social engagement,
    • how they address & equip students with issues linked with Covid
    • how they support with improving physical and mental well being

Teachers my wish to access the MindEd learning platform, which has materials re: peer support, stress, fear and trauma


  • teachers should plan activities to follow this guidance
  • teachers will plan extra sessions outdoors and in the community that support health, physical and mental well being


Visits from parents and non-professionals


  • visits from parents and non-professionals will be avoided where possible & business / queries carried out by phone or Microsoft Teams
  • visits from prospective parents – as part of the transition process between MAT schools – are suspended for now, and can be arranged once restrictions are lifted – to be reviewed ongoingly
  • when allowed again parents will be required to wear masks at all times and sanitize before entry to school
  • during visits parents, once allowed again, will only visit corridors and empty rooms and will not enter classrooms where students are learning


Contingency plans for outbreak

Settings must consider remote education for individuals and groups who are self-isolating – so they can engage in learning as far as possible, following a planned curriculum – and work with parents and other professionals (therapists) to deliver this


In the event of an outbreak the public health team and LA will advise a setting 


If school is closed, it may have to consider remaining open for vulnerable groups / critical workers’ children


A range of resources for remote education are available at


  • The Head and / or Deputy will track any non-attending students and follow up with trying to get them into school
  • Teachers will plan, as best as possible, and within reason in the case of students with more severe needs, relevant and meaningful remote learning activities for students who are isolating / at home
  • Parents will be expected to support this
  • If the school is closed again – we will revert to the delivery model we used in the last lockdown (where vulnerable students and children or key workers are in school and staff support this, remote learning is delivered by teachers – and where staff supported students through visits with them into their communities)


Testing in school for staff and students

For secondary school staff and pupils (where appropriate) we are moving to a home testing model (following the first 3 onsite tests).


Home test kits will be available for all staff on return. Once pupils have been tested three times at school, they will be provided with home test kits for regular testing. Testing remains voluntary but strongly encouraged.

We have given specialist settings flexibility to be able to work with pupils/students and their families to agree the most appropriate way of them participating in twice-weekly testing.

Staff or students with a positive LFD test result will need to self-isolate in line with the stay-at-home guidance. Those with a negative LFD test result can continue to attend school or college and use protective measures.

  • To support families, we have offered to do all testing at school – staff will students and themselves twice a week – we have written to parents to offer this
  • Parents who wish to test at home, should contact the school and the school provide the testing kits
  • The school is committed to testing students and where appropriate getting students as involved in the process as possible – so that they are learning how to test themselves under supervision
  • No student will be forced to test and testing is only carried out when the school receives a consent form from parents
  • When students are nervous and anxious about testing, the nurse can be called upon to support until the student and staff are confident
  • All staff are shown how to test by the school NHS nurse
  • Students will be allowed to come to school if they do not consent to testing – staff who do not test are still expected to be in school
  • Any student who tests positive via a school LFD test will be isolated immediately and parents will be asked to pick up within an hour
  • A positive LFD test will result in the student and everyone in their bubble isolating for 10 days
  • If staff test positive via the LFD test, they must isolate for 10 days and their bubble will be closed as well