CORONAVIRUS INFORMATIONSafeguarding Our School
Safeguarding Bright Futures School Community
As all Government guidance re managing Covid in schools has now been removed, we will treat Covid as any other illness as per our school illness policy. Pupils and staff should only attend school if they feel well enough to do so.
28 February 2022
BFS continues to follow government guidance regarding safe practice for the operation and opening of schools.
In line with this guidance (as of 24th February, 2022), staff and pupils at BFS are no longer legally obliged to wear facemasks or test on a regular basis, but we acknowledge that some will still wish to do so, and therefore as this is down to personal choice we will support and not question individual preference.
Although the government has now removed the legal obligation for self isolation following a positive covid test, any staff member or pupil who now tests positive, will be expected to stay away from school until they are symptom free and feel well enough to return.
School will continue to maintain safe practice and good hygiene protocol, through the use of out Toucan sprays, good ventilation in all classrooms and safe distancing wherever possible in order to minimise risk of covid transmission.
Following the latest Government guidance, all staff will again wear facemasks when in communal areas. All visitors to school will be required to wear facemasks whilst on our premises. We will continue to apply our hygiene procedures using the Toucan sprays and cloths. All staff are encouraged to test twice weekly with Lateral Flow tests and school will provide test kits for all families to use prior to returning to school after the Christmas holiday.
Current Covid situation and Bright Futures School
Government guidance states that : “Children can get coronavirus (COVID-19), but they seem to get it less often than adults and it’s usually less serious.
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal”
Staff have noticed signs of impending illness in some children who have tested negative in a lateral flow test at that time. Subsequently those pupils have tested positive in a PCR. In order to offer maximum protection to all pupils and staff, we have taken the decision to ask all parents to keep pupils at home whilst any symptoms are displayed regardless of lateral flow test status. This will include staff recognition of impending illness.
We will not expect children to return to school until they are symptom free.
Government guidance states :
”If your child has any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, even if they’re mild: Get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if they have COVID-19 as soon as possible.
Your child should stay at home and not have visitors (self-isolate) until you get the test result – they can only leave home to have the test. Check if you and anyone else your child lives with need to self-isolate.”
They should not be attending school (as with any other illness) until the symptoms have gone away.
Following the removal of Covid restrictions by the Government back in July, Bright Futures School will open and operate in September as close to “normal” as possible. We expect all staff and pupils to attend school unless they are in any way ill as stated in our illness policy.
We will continue with our hygiene routines using our Toucan sanitising sprays, and all staff and pupils will be encouraged to social distance, where appropriate. We aim to operate our full curriculum of varied activities in and outside of the school environment.
Should a staff member or pupil, experience any Covid symptoms, they will be expected to take a lateral flow test, followed by a PCR test if positive. Confirmation of a positive PCR test will mean a period of isolation (maximum 10 days) to be taken, in line with Government guidance.
Staff, pupils and their families will all be encouraged to test twice weekly using lateral flow tests.
We will continue to be directed by the Government should there be any changes to the current guidance.
England moved to Step 4 of the Government’s Roadmap on Monday 19th July. This means the majority of Covid restrictions have now ended, replaced with guidance emphasising personal judgement and responsibility. People are expected to protect themselves and others through informed choice and move through Step 4 cautiously. As COVID-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, there is now an imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education.
Facemasks are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas. The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.
We will continue with our rigorous cleaning and sanitising systems here at school, in order to protect our community. We will also ensure that the school continues to be well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained.
These have been very challenging times recently, and staff and pupils have coped remarkably well with last minute changes due to Covid regulations which have impacted on the school timetable and staffing! We are all looking forward to the summer holidays, and we encourage all families to continue to regularly self-test and we will provide testing kits to all families before we break up in order that pupils may be tested before school resumes in September.
When an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test, pupils, staff and other adults should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do. They should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).
From 16 August 2021, children under the age of 18 years old will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, children will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.
All guidance will be reviewed before the start of our autumn term in September.
School will re-open fully to all pupils, with all staff on the premises, as directed by the government on Monday 8th March. Covid testing will be offered to all families, and facemasks may be worn in areas where social distancing can not be observed. All staff will be provided with home testing kits for twice weekly testing. We will continue to adhere to our strict handwashing and sanitising routines, plus good ventilation around school in order to minimise the risk of virus transmission.
The government have asked parents to keep their children at home wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response, who absolutely need to attend. The fewer children and staff making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings will protect the NHS and save lives by reducing the risks of spreading the virus. Many children and young people with EHC plans can safely remain at home. Bright Futures School made the decision, based on this advice plus their own health and safety risk assessment, to close school on Friday 20th March, 2020, with all pupils and staff working from home.
All local authorities have been informed as have the DfE. Staff have compiled, and delivered (where wanted), work packs suitable to be completed by pupils at home in order to support their education. Appropriate resources, activities, links to websites and supporting materials have been emailed to parents, and are also available on the parents’ page of the school website. Management are keeping in contact with parents on a regular basis by email or telephone, to check all is well and offer support if necessary. Staff have been linked to key pupils and are in communication via (parents) email or by video calling on Zoom to offer support and friendly chat to help pupils through this difficult and uncertain time.
Staff may not use personal phones or personal email to contact pupils and where video chat takes place, two staff plus the parent must be present in order to safeguard communication with the pupil.
All pupils at Bright Futures School bring their own packed lunches and therefore the government voucher scheme does not apply to pupils at Bright Futures School for lunches.
Management will review the situation on a regular basis, taking into consideration government advice, in order to decide when it is in everyone’s interest and safe to re- open school.
Parental Guidance For Re-Opening Bright Futures School
Government National Guidance – Stay Alert – Control the Virus – Save Lives
Government guidance is that any educational or childcare settings which have closed should work towards reopening from the week commencing 1st June 2020. BRIGHT FUTURES SCHOOL WILL RE- OPEN ON MONDAY JUNE 15th 2020
Government advice states that:
Special schools should work towards welcoming back as many children as can be safely catered for in their setting.
Children and young people should return back into education as soon as the scientific advice allows, because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers, carers and teachers.
Children returning to educational and childcare settings in greater numbers will also allow more families to return to work.
Staff have been consulted on our whole school re-opening risk assessment and all staff will be briefed on procedures for re-opening in order to ensure that Bright Futures School is able to operate in a safe manner, following local and national health and safety guidance. All families will be contacted to discuss returning to school for pupils and individual pupil risk assessments will be updated and local authorities informed of the outcomes. Parent are asked to inform school of any changes in welfare, health or wellbeing that we need to be aware of before a pupil returns to school. Staff will work with pupils who return to school and may have any issues or anxieties around the virus / being in school and support will be offered as appropriate.
The safety of our children and staff is our utmost priority.
Please note the following measures that we are implementing from June 15th
- School will be open initially on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Home learning will be facilitated on Thursday and Friday but this will be subject to change as more pupils are able to return. Staff will continue to engage with those pupils who are unable to return to school for whatever reason.
- School will start at 9.15am and finish at 2.15pm.
- Only one parent / carer may escort and wait at the school gate with a pupil.
- All pupils, parents, escorts, carers, must adhere to social distancing at all times. School will provide visible reminders around the site.
- Pupils will be let into school via the main gate, at intervals which allow for social distancing to take place.
- Pupils will be directed to wash their hands as soon as they enter school and before they go to class.
- No items other than school bag, lunch pack and coat may be brought into school. These items will be kept in the pupils’ classroom and may be sprayed with our sanitizing spray on entry.
- All sessions will take place on a 1-1 basis in individual classrooms. No equipment will be shared.
- No group activities will take place and pupils will not go off site other than to walk in the local area. Pupils will not travel in staff cars.
- Break and lunch will take place in individual classrooms or outside.
- Pupils will not be allowed to use school cups, crockery or cutlery. Please ensure these are included in pupils’ lunch packs.
- Windows will be kept open wherever possible.
- We have invested in a sanitising system -Toucan Eco- from Robert Scott. Staff and pupils will use this at all times to spray hands, desks, door handles and frames, equipment and surfaces. Antibacterial cloths will be colour coded for each day.
- All fabric hand towels have been replaced with paper towels. Pupils will be encouraged to wash their hands regularly.
- Frequent handwashing and good hygiene practices, regular cleaning of school, minimising contact and mixing, will all create a safer system where risk of transmission of infection will be substantially reduced.
- Public transport use is discouraged. Parents should refer to LA and government guidance regarding transporting children to school.
- Should parents / escorts / carers need to communicate with staff at school, this should be done via phone or email. It can not be done at the school gate at drop off / pick up times.
- If stringent social distancing cannot be adhered to or the above control measures can not be understood by an individual pupil, that pupil will NOT be able to attend school. They will be supported to learn at home.
Staff and children should not attend school if they have symptoms of Covid 19 or are self-isolating due to symptoms in their household.
If a pupil becomes unwell with symptoms of Covid 19, whilst at school, they will be isolated, behind a closed door, with window open, and under staff supervision from outside, until collected from school, which should be as soon s possible.
Where a child, young person or staff member tests positive for Covid 19, school should be notified immediately. The relevant group of people in school with whom the affected person has mixed closely in the previous 48hours will be sent home from school and advised to self-isolate for 7 / 14 days according to govt guidance. Further advice will be sought from the Public Health England Health Protection Team (0344 225 0562).
The government has stated that “it is our plan that all children and young people, in all year groups and setting types, will return to education settings full time from the beginning of the autumn term.
The prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased and our NHS Test and Trace system is up and running, and we are clear about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments within education settings. Returning to school or college is vital for children and young people’s education and for their wellbeing. Time out of an education setting is detrimental to cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children and young people. This impact can affect both current levels of learning and children and young people’s future ability to learn, and therefore we need to ensure all pupils can return to their setting sooner rather than later.
The risk to children and young people themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low and there are negative health impacts of being out of school or college. We know that education settings are a vital point of contact for public health and safeguarding services that are critical to the wellbeing of children, young people and families.
A child or young person’s time spent in education is key to their preparation for adulthood. This affects the standard of living that today’s pupils and students will have over the course of their entire life. For many households, the closure of education settings has also affected their ability to work. As the economy begins to recover, we need to remove this barrier so parents and carers can return to work.
Given the improved position, the balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of children and young people returning to school or college.”
Bright Futures School must comply with health and safety law and this requires us to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures. We have reviewed our health and safety risk assessments in line with addressing the risks identified using the system of controls set out below. These are an adapted form of the system of protective measures that will be familiar from the summer term. Essential measures include:
- a requirement that people who are ill should stay at home
- robust hand and respiratory hygiene
- enhanced cleaning arrangements
- active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
- formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school and wherever possible minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable.
Bright Futures School will continue to deploy the protective measures that were in place in the summer term and will continue to follow government guidance in order to continue to reduce risks in our setting and create an inherently safer environment. Contact between individuals will be minimised and social distancing will be maintained wherever possible.
School will be open each week day, staring at 9.15am and finishing at 2.15pm , Monday through to Thursday. On Fridays, Pupils will start at 10am and finish at 3pm. All pupils are expected to attend.
The following links will give further in depth information regarding the coronavirus:
Useful resources and support for pupils and parents working at home
Bitesize: primary or secondary resources: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
Twinkl : Use this code to access for free UKTWINKLHELPS https://www.twinkl.co.uk/
Sum Dog – pupils have own school log in or you can play as guest.
White Rose Maths: https://whiterosemaths.com/resources/classroom-resources/problems/
Maths / computing for all ages, other subjects at secondary level: https://www.khanacademy.org/
English Reading: https://www.worldbookday.com/big-little-book-corner/
Shakespeare Macbeth: https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/school-radio/english-ks2-macbeth-index/zkxcbdm
Future learn – lots of courses for adults and pupils https://www.futurelearn.com/
Maths Times tables:/strong>< a href=”https://ttrockstars.com/”>https://ttrockstars.com/
Studyladder National Curriculum subjects: https://www.studyladder.co.uk/
General wellbeing challenges and activities : https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/kidswellbeing
Help & Advice
- National Autistic Society – guidance and helpline for parents’, young people and staff: https://www.autism.org.uk/services/nas-schools/vanguard/news/2020/march/coronavirus-(covid-19)-advice.aspx
- Mencap – Easy Read guide to Coronavirus: https://www.mencap.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-03/Information%20about%20Coronavirus%20ER%20SS2.pdf
- Place2Be – Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing: https://www.place2be.org.uk/about-us/news-and-blogs/2020/march/coronavirus-information-for-children/
- Young Minds – Talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing: https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/talking-to-your-child-about-coronavirus/
- Carers UK – Guidance for carers: https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/health/looking-after-your-health/coronavirus-covid-19
- Covibook – an interactive resource designed to support and reassure children aged 7 and under, designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic: https://www.mindheart.co/descargables
- Amaze – information pack for parents https://amazesussex.org.uk/faqs-about-the-coronavirus-for-parent-carers-of-children-with-send-brighton-hove/
Keeping safe online
Keeping everyone safe at home
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and whenever you return home.
The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
We have recently raised sufficient funds to purchase our own mobile defibrillator and all staff have now been trained to use it (although we are hoping we don't have to!)
We have a Go Fund me appeal to support parents of pupils and prospective pupils at Bright Futures School who have to go to SEN Tribunal to challenge inadequate educational provision in their child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If you would like to make a donation, please contact Zoe Thompson at school.
Thank you for your support.