C-19 Risk Mitigation Statement
At Stratford-sub-Castle Primary School, our overarching objective is to maximise the number of children in face-to face education and minimise any disruption, in a way that best manages the COVID-19 risk. We recognise that the negative effects of having missed face-to-face education during the pandemic are severe for children. However, measures affecting education may be necessary in some circumstances, for example:
- to help manage a COVID-19 outbreak within a setting
- as part of a package of measures responding to a Variant of Concern (VoC) or to extremely high prevalence of COVID-19 in the community
- to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS
Our school has contingency plans (sometimes called outbreak management plans) in place to ensure continuity of education if pupils or staff test positive for COVID-19 and the school would operate if advised to reintroduce any measures described in the Contingency Framework document, to help break chains of transmission. (See the school’s website: Business Continuity section)
At Stratford-sub-Castle Primary School, our approach is to balance the risk of transmission against any educational drawbacks, keeping any measures to the minimum number of groups possible, and for the shortest amount of time possible. All measures are kept under regular review and will be lifted as soon as the evidence supports doing so.
At Stratford-sub-Castle Primary School, we recognise and comply with health and safety law by putting in place proportionate control measures. Risk assessments and subsequent plans are reviewed and updated regularly. These are ‘living documents’ and are adapted, as the circumstances in our school and the public health advice changes. This includes having active arrangements in place to monitor whether the controls are effective and working as planned.
Stratford-sub-Castle Primary School implements The Operational Guidance, which sets out the measures that all education settings should have in place to manage transmission of COVID-19 day to day. Standard control measures include:
- Ensuring good hygiene for everyone.
- Maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes.
- Keeping occupied spaces well ventilated.
- Following public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The Operational Guidance sets out the measures that all education settings should have in place to manage transmission of COVID-19. Those relevant to Stratford-sub-Castle Primary include:
- staff in primary schools, should test themselves using LFD twice a week at home until the end of September, when this will be reviewed
- all early years and wraparound childcare staff should also continue to test twice weekly
- those who test positive should isolate, take a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and continue to isolate if the result is positive
- the implementation of high-quality blended learning arrangements so that any child who is well enough to learn from home can do so
- under-18s, irrespective of their vaccination status, and double vaccinated adults do not need to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case. Such children are strongly advised to take a PCR test and, if a positive result is returned, then isolate.
‘Stepping up’ measures
Stratford-sub-Castle Primary School considers taking extra action if the number of positive cases substantially increases. This is because it could indicate transmission is happening in the setting. The thresholds, detailed below are used as an indication of when to seek public health advice. Public health advice is sought when either of these thresholds is reached first:
- 5 children, pupils, students or staff, who are likely to have mixed closely, test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period; or
- 10% of children, pupils, students or staff who are likely to have mixed closely test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period
If the above thresholds are reached, the school reviews and reinforces the testing, hygiene and ventilation measures already in place in response to any advice received from outside agencies.