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COVID-19 LOGISTICAL RESPONSE PLAN

Appendix 1 — St. Coen’s COVID-19 School Policy Statement: CLICK HERE
Appendix 2 — Return to Work Form: CLICK HERE
Appendix 3 — Lead Worker Representative: CLICK HERE
Appendix 4 — St. Coen’s Risk Assessments: CLICK HERE
Appendix 5 — School Contact Tracing Log: CLICK HERE
Appendix 6 — Checklist for School Managers: CLICK HERE
Appendix 7 — Checklist for Managing a Suspected Case of COVID-19: CLICK HERE
Appendix 8 — Checklist for Lead Worker Representative: CLICK HERE
Appendix 9 — Checklist for Cleaning: CLICK HERE

Introduction:

St. Coen’s N.S. has drawn up this logistical plan to assist us implement the Covid-19 Response plan issued by the government to ensure a safe return to school for all children and staff. Its aim is to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the school environment. While it is not possible to eliminate the risk of infection we aim to minimise the risk of the virus being introduced to the school and the consequent risk of its spread.

The key to a safe and sustainable return to work, and reopening of schools requires strong communication and a shared collaborative approach between the BOM, staff, pupils and parents.

The assistance and cooperation of all staff, pupils, parents, contractors and visitors is critical to the success of the plan.

This plan is a living document and will be updated in line with public health advice and reviewed regularly in the light of experience gained in its implementation.

School COVID-19 Policy:

A COVID-19 policy outlines the commitment of the school to implement the plan and help prevent the spread of the virus. The policy has been signed and dated by the chairperson and principal of the BOM and brought to the attention of the staff, pupils, parents and others

.

Planning and Preparing for Return to School:

The BOM of St. Coen’s N.S. aims to facilitate the resumption of school based teaching and learning and the return to the workplace of staff. The return to the workplace must be done safely and in strict adherence to the public health advice and any guidance issued by the Department of Education.

Details for the safe reopening of the school facility and the applicable controls are outlined in this document.

St. Coen’s has:

  • Arrangements to keep up to date with public health advice, changes to any Government plans for the safe reopening of society and Department of Education updates;
  • Arrangements to pass on this information in a timely manner to staff, pupils, parents and others as required through school website, email, class dojo and Facebook;
  • Ensured that staff have reviewed the training materials provided by the Department of Education;
  • Provided staff with access to the Return to Work (RTW) form;
  • Identified a Lead Worker representative and Assistant Lead Worker representative;
  • Displayed posters and other signage to prevent introduction and spread of COVID-19;
  • Made the necessary changes to the school or classroom layout if necessary to support the redesign of classrooms to support physical distancing;
  • Removed unnecessary clutter to facilitate ongoing cleaning of the school taking into account the importance of having educational materials to create a stimulating learning environment;
  • Updated the health and safety risk assessment;
  • Made necessary arrangements to limit access to the school to necessary visitors and maintain records of contacts to the school;
  • Reviewed the school buildings to check the following:
  • Does the water system need flushing at outlets following low usage to prevent Legionella disease;
  • Has school equipment and mechanical ventilation been checked for signs of deterioration or damage before being used again;
  • Have bin collections and other essential services resumed.

Induction Training:

All staff will undertake and complete Covid-19 Induction Training prior to returning to the school building. The aim of such training is to ensure that staff have full knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • Latest up to-date advice and guidance on public health;
  • Covid-19 symptoms;
  • What to do if a staff member or pupil develops symptoms of Covid-19 while at school;
  • Outline of the Covid-19 response plan.

Staff will be kept fully informed of the control measures in place in the school and their duties and responsibilities in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and will be updated with any changes to the control measures or guidance available from the public health authorities.

If a staff member is unsure about any aspect of the Covid-19 Response Plan, the associated control measures, or his/her duties, he/she should immediately seek guidance from the Principal, who is supported in this role by the BOM.

The Induction Training can be accessed here:
https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/dd7fb-induction-training-for-reopening-schools/#primary-school-induction

A national information campaign to support parents and pupils will happen in advance of schools reopening on issues such as COVID-19 awareness and to help minimise the risk of introduction and spread of the virus in schools.

Staff Members at very high Risk:

There are some school staff who may be unable to return to school. Current public health guidelines have identified these people as being in groups who are defined as being at very high risk. This will be updated in line with public health advice.

People at very high risk (extremely vulnerable):

The list of people in very high risk groups include people who:

  • are over 70 years of age - even if fit and well
  • have had an organ transplant
  • are undergoing active chemotherapy for cancer
  • are having radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
  • have cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • are having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • are having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • have severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, lung fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and severe COPD
  • have a condition that means they have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
  • are taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppression therapies)
  • have a serious heart condition and are pregnant

The RTW form includes a question pertaining to whether or not the staff member identifies as falling into one of the above categories in which case they will be contacted by the Principal and the DES procedures will be followed.

Details of the arrangements that will apply for these staff, has been updated by the Department of Education in circular 0049/2020.Circular 0049 is available at https://www.education.ie/en/circulars-and-forms/active-circulars/

Parents:

The following will be available on the school website, through class dojo or Aladdin App:

  1. copy of St. Coen’s Covid-19 Response Plan
  2. copy of Covid-19 Statement
  3. links to videos for parents and children on the Return to School
  • All pupils should continue to wear their school uniform. Tracksuits will be worn by ASD classes except for those children who have previously agreed to wear uniform.
  • Tracksuits for mainstream will be worn on PE days. The particular days will be notified to parents.
  • Children may wear raincoats.
  • All clothing and personal belongings must be clearly labelled.
  • Pupils bring an empty wipe clean pencil case, clearly labelled, to school which will be left in school and not brought home.
  • Pupils bring a reusable bottle filled with water (the cap/bottle must be removable).
  • Pupils bring a school bag containing lunch (if bringing own) and homework folder. Pupils bring home lunch rubbish or their own uneaten lunch each day. School bags are to be checked at home daily for rubbish.
  • Pupils bring a small labelled bag containing hand sanitiser, tissues and wipes. This will be kept in school.
  • Pupils should wash their hands before they leave home in the morning.

School Drop off:

Gates open at 8.40. School starts at 8.50.

  • Parents walking to school will drop off their children at the school pedestrian gates. There are two at the main school entrance and one at the Broomhall entrance. There will be a teacher on duty at each entry point to guide the pupils.
  • Only pupils enter the school premises on foot.
  • Parents dropping their children off by car can do so in the designated drop off spaces in the car park. These are clearly identified as yellow boxes. It is strictly drop and go. There is to be no parking in any other area of the car park/set down area. Parents can help their children out of the car but must then leave promptly.
  • Children cross the car park at the pedestrian walkway only. Staff will be posted to guide them.
  • Parents are not to try talk to teachers at the gates or in the car park area.
  • All adults are asked to follow social distancing guidelines at the entry points and not to congregate so as to minimise risk.
  • We ask children to walk or cycle to school if at all possible.
  • Pupils will be directed to their designated class line in the playgrounds. They line up in the next available space in their own line.
  • At 8.50 the class teacher will lead his/her class into the school through one of three designated entry points. (main door – 1st class, 3rd class, 4th class (Room 11)) (Broomhall – 2nd class, 6th class (Room 13)) (ASD entrance – 4th class (Room 10), 5th class,6th class (Room 9), ASD classes)
  • If a child arrives on the school premises and their class has already entered the building they go to the main entrance.
  • Hand Sanitiser is available at each of the three school entry points and in all classrooms. The children will be required to hand sanitise at entry point.
  • Children must take their seat in their classroom. Each child will be provided with a box for their own school books and belongings.
  • ASD Primary Class Entry Time: 8:55am
  • ASD (EI) Entry Time: 9:00 a.m.
  • On wet days the children will proceed directly to their classroom at 8:40.
  • Cooperation is necessary and expected from parents to enable these procedures to run smoothly and safely.

School Pick Up:

  1. St. Coen’s N.S. will now operate a sibling collection for families with multiple students in the school. This will apply for 1st - 6th classes. Siblings will be released at the same time, and to the same designated entrance, as their younger sibling(s). They will be escorted by a staff member. Junior Infants and Senior Infants collection will remain separate.
  2. Parents collecting on foot are to wait at the designated pedestrian entrance. Face coverings are required when collecting children. No parent is to walk onto the school premises at this time. Please stand at the socially-distanced spaced markings and the children will be released one-by-one.
  3. Parents collecting by car are asked to park in the designated set down area for their exit point (yellow boxes in car park or set down area at Broomhall entrance). Parents are to wait in their cars until a member of staff directs their children to the car and promptly leave afterwards. There is to be no congregating or trying to talk to teachers at these points.
  4. Children walking home themselves will be released at their designated exit by a member of staff. Please ensure teachers are informed about children walking home themselves.
  5. Full cooperation is also necessary and expected to facilitate safe procedures at school pick-up time.
  • Junior Infants: 1:30 - Main entrance
  • Senior Infants: 1:30 - Main entrance
  • 1st Class (Ms. Keane) and older siblings: 2:20 - Main Entrance
  • 1st Class (Mr. McDermott) and older siblings: 2:20 – Main entrance
  • 2nd Class and older siblings: 2:20 – Broomhall entrance
  • 3rd Class and older siblings: 2:25 – Broomhall entrance
  • 4th Classes and older siblings: 2:25 - Main Entrance
  • 5th Class and older siblings: 2.30 - Main Entrance
  • 6th Class (Ms. Lynch): 2.30 - Main Entrance
  • 6th Class (Ms. Doyle): 2:30 - Broomhall entrance

Early Collection:

  • Parents who wish to collect their child outside of normal times should phone ahead to the school as early as possible.
  • Parents can collect their children from outside the main entrance/reception. No parent/guardian has permission to enter the school building.
  • All early collections will be recorded on Aladdin by class teacher.

Children who should not attend School:

  • Child diagnosed with Covid-19
  • Child who has been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with Covid-19
  • Child who has a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending
  • Child who has been in contact with a person who has a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending
  • Child with underlying health conditions who has been directed by a medical professional not to attend school
  • Child who has returned home after travelling abroad and must self- isolate for 14 days
  • Child who is unwell: If you have any doubts as to whether your child is ill, please err on the side of caution and keep them at home

Dealing with a Suspected Case of Covid-19:

If a child develops symptoms including cough, fever, shortness of breath or sudden loss of taste, or smell:

  • The parents/guardians will be contacted immediately to collect the child and advised to call the doctor and continue self-isolation at home
  • The child will be accompanied to the isolation room (SET Room 2) by a member of staff. The staff member should keep at least 2 metres away from the child and ensure that others also maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from the symptomatic child at all times.
  • A mask will be provided for the symptomatic child
  • The child will be advised to avoid touching surfaces, people and objects
  • The child will be advised to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bin provided
  • If the child is very unwell or advice is required, the school will contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick person is a is a Covid-19 suspect
  • Arrangements will be made for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas involved
  • The HSE will inform any staff/parents who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process. The HSE will contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of Covid-19 is made. The instructions of the HSE should be followed.

Communication:

We have moved to paperless communication. There will be no paper notes going home. Communications will take place by email, text, Class dojo, Aladdin Connect, school website and Facebook.

We request parents to:

  • Download the Aladdin App
  • Give the school your email address
  • Give the school your up to date phone number
  • Download Class Dojo

Meetings:

  • Meetings with school staff will be by prior appointment only
  • Messages for teachers can be sent by email, class dojo or by phoning the office. The expected hours of communication by email, Aladdin Connect or Class Dojo are 8:50am - 4:00pm
  • School starts at 8.50 and it is essential all children are on time

Parking:

  • Please park in yellow boxes in car park only
  • If you drop and go please turn left at the exit to avoid back up of traffic.
  • Be vigilant – children’s’ safety is paramount.
  • Follow staff directions

School Preparation:

All classrooms have been reconfigured to ensure a safe return to school in line with the Covid-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools.

  • Extra furniture, clutter and damaged toys have been removed from all classrooms
  • Children will be seated in pods (groups). While children are not one metre apart within their pods they are a metre apart from other pods as required for classes from 3rd – 6th. This is in line with the guidelines.
  • The isolation room for a child displaying symptoms of Covid-19 is SET Room 2 on the ground floor.
  • There are visual markings on corridors, stairs and classrooms and outside the school
  • There is hand sanitiser and paper towel dispensers in every classroom. There is sanitiser at each entry point.
  • School breaks are staggered and children play within their class bubble only in a designated section of the playground.
  • Homework returned in November following consultation with parents and staff. Homework is to be kept in homework folders.

Staff Room:

No more than 6 people in the staffroom at any one time. A second room may be made available to facilitate breaks. Staff in ASD classes will have their breaks in the designated room off the ASD hall. Table layouts are not to be altered. All kettles, microwaves, toasters, plates, cups and cutlery have been removed. The fridge and dishwasher are not available. Please bring in your own cutlery, plates etc. The staffroom table must be cleaned by the staff member after they have had their lunch.

First Aid/Emergency Procedure:

The standard First Aid/emergency procedure shall continue to apply. In an emergency or in case of a serious incident, an ambulance or the fire brigade will be called on 112/999 giving details of location and type of medical incident.

Access to School and Contact Log:

Access to the school building will be in line with agreed school procedures.

Arrangements for necessary visitors such as contractors and parents with be restricted to essential purposes and limited to those who have obtained prior approval from the principal. The Department of Education Inspectorate may also need to visit schools and centres for education to support them as appropriate in the implementation of public health advice relating to creating a safe learning and working environment for all.

The prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a crucial step in restricting the spread of the virus and protecting the health and safety of the individuals themselves and other staff, contractors and visitors at the workplace. A detailed sign in/sign out log of those entering the school facilities will be maintained. The school will maintain a log of staff and pupil contacts. The Data Protection Commission has provided guidance on the data protection implications of the return to work protocols. This advice can be found here:

https://www.dataprotection.ie/en/news-media/data-protection-implications-return-work-safely-protocol

All school records and data will be maintained and processed in compliance with the GDPR and the Data Protection Acts. The responsibility for compliance with the legislation rests with each school (or ETB) in their role as data controller.

Infection Prevention Control Measures - To prevent Introduction and Spread of COVID-19 in Schools:

One of the key messages to manage the risks of COVID-19 is to do everything practical to avoid the introduction of COVID-19 into the school. If infection is not introduced it cannot be spread. The risk of spreading the infection once introduced exists in all interpersonal interactions; pupil-pupil, teacher-teacher and teacher- pupil and must be managed in all settings.

A range of essential control measures have been implemented to reduce the risk of the spread of Covid-19 virus and to protect the safety, health and welfare of staff, pupils, parents and visitors as far as possible within the school. The control measures shall continue to be reviewed and updated as required on an ongoing basis.

It is critical that staff, pupils, parents and visitors are aware of, and adhere to, the control measures outlined and that they fully cooperate with all health and safety requirements.

Staff should note that they have a legal obligation under Section 13 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to comply with health and safety requirements and to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves, their colleagues and other parties within the workplace.

How to Minimise the Risk of Introduction of COVID-19 into Schools:

Promote awareness of COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Staff and pupils that have symptoms are advised not to attend school, to phone their doctor and to follow HSE guidance on self-isolation
  • Staff and pupils are advised to self-isolate or restrict their movements at home if they display any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and contact their family doctor to arrange a test
  • Staff and pupils are advised not to return to or attend school in the event of the following:
  • if they are identified by the HSE as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus
  • If they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances staff are advised to consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel.
  • Staff and pupils that develop symptoms at school are advised to bring this to the attention of the Principal promptly
  • Staff and pupils know the protocol for managing a suspected case of COVID-19 in school
  • Staff and pupils are advised to cooperate with any public health officials and the school for contact tracing purposes and follow any public health advice in the event of a case or outbreak in the school
  • Everyone entering the school building needs to perform hand hygiene with a hand sanitiser
  • Visitors to the school during the day are by prior arrangement and will be received at the front entrance
  • Physical distancing (of 2m) will be maintained between staff and visitors where possible.

Know the Symptoms of COVID-19:

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 it is important to know and recognise the symptoms. They are:

  • High temperature
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • Loss of smell, of taste or distortion of taste

Infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 can cause illness, ranging from mild to severe, and, in some cases, can be fatal. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show. They can be similar to symptoms of <strong>cold and flu.

Common symptoms of coronavirus include:

  • a fever (high temperature - 38 degrees Celsius or above).
  • a new cough - this can be any kind of cough, not just dry.
  • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.
  • loss or change in your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you have any common symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus), self-isolate (stay in your room) and phone your family doctor straight away to see if you need a COVID-19 test. Other people in your household will need to restrict their movements (stay at home).

Getting an early diagnosis means, you can get the help you need and take steps to avoid spreading the virus, if you have it.

For the complete list of symptoms, please refer to the HSE Website.

COVID-19 Tracker App:

COVID Tracker app is a free and easy-to-use mobile phone app that will:

  • alert you if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus)
  • keep other app users safe by alerting them if you test positive for COVID-19
  • give you advice on what to do if you have symptoms

You can download the free app from Apple's AppStore or the GooglePlay store.

Respiratory Hygiene:

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and safely into a nearby bin.

By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and Covid-19.

Hand Hygiene:

Staff and pupils understand why hand hygiene is important as well as when and how to wash their hands.

School promotes good hygiene and displays posters throughout the schools on how to wash your hands. Follow the HSE guidelines on handwashing:

https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/how-to-wash-your-hands.html

  • Hand hygiene can be achieved by hand washing or use of a hand sanitiser (when hands look clean).
  • Use of hand hygiene facilities including wash hand basins is managed so as to avoid congregation of pupils and staff waiting to use wash hand basins and hand sanitisers.
  • There is access to hand washing facilities after activities that are likely to soil hands, for example playing outside or certain sporting activities as hand sanitiser does not work on dirty hands.
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers are deployed more readily at exit and entry points of schools and classrooms and care is taken to clean up any hand sanitiser spills to prevent risks of falls.
  • Wash hand basins, running water, liquid soap and hand drying facilities are provided in all toilets, kitchens and any food preparation areas.
  • Hand washing facilities are maintained in good condition and supplies of soap and blue-roll are topped up regularly to encourage everyone to use them.
  • Posters displaying hand washing techniques and promoting hand washing are placed on walls adjacent to washing facilities.
  • Hand sanitiser is suitable for use for hand hygiene when hands are not visibly soiled (look clean).
  • When hand rubs/gels are being used in school care is taken to ensure that pupils do not ingest them as they are flammable and toxic. Alcohol-based sanitiser must not be stored or used near heat or naked flame.

Frequency of Hand Hygiene:

Pupils and staff perform hand hygiene:

  • On arrival at school;
  • Before eating or drinking;
  • After using the toilet;
  • After playing outdoors;
  • When their hands are physically dirty;
  • When they cough or sneeze.

Physical Distancing:

Physical distancing can be usefully applied in primary and special school settings allowing for some flexibility when needed. It must be applied in a practical way to recognise that the learning environment cannot be dominated by a potentially counterproductive focus on this issue. Physical distancing will look different across the various ages and stages of learning. Care is to be taken to avoid generating tension or potential conflict and some flexibility in the implementation of measures may be required at times.

It is also recognised that it is not always possible for staff to maintain physical distance from pupils and it is not appropriate that they would always be expected to do so where this could have a detrimental impact on the pupil i.e. if a child sustains an injury and requires first aid.

However, where possible staff maintain a minimum of 1m distance and where possible 2m. They also take measures to avoid close contact at face to face level such as remaining standing rather than sitting beside/crouching down.

Physical distancing falls into two categories:

  • Increasing separation
  • Decreasing interaction

Increasing separation:

To maintain physical distancing in the classroom, the school will:

  • Reconfigure class spaces to maximise physical distancing
  • Utilise and reconfigure all available space in the school in order to maximise physical distancing
  • The teacher’s desk will be at least 1m and where possible 2m away from pupil desks.

Decreasing interaction:

The extent to which decreasing interaction is possible in a primary school will depend on the school setting and a common-sense approach is required recognising the limits to which this can be achieved between pupils.

In primary schools a distance of 1m should be maintained between desks or between individual pupils. It is recognised that younger children are unlikely to maintain physical distancing indoors. Therefore, achieving this recommendation in the first four years of primary or special schools, is not a pre-requisite to reopening a primary or special school for all pupils.

Where possible work stations will be allocated consistently to the same staff and children rather than having spaces which are shared.

The risk of infection may be reduced by structuring pupils and their teachers into Class Bubbles (i.e. a class grouping which stays apart from other classes as much as possible) and discrete groups or “Pods” within those class bubbles, to the extent that this is practical.

If the class is divided into Pods, there will be at least (1m distance) between individual Pods within the Class Bubble and between individuals in the pod, whenever possible.

Generally speaking, the objective is to limit contact and sharing of common facilities between people in different Class Bubbles (and Pods within those Class Bubbles) as much as possible, rather than to avoid all contact between Pods, as the latter will not always be possible.

The aim of the system within the school is that class grouping mix only with their own class from arrival at school in the morning until departure at the end of the school day. The Pods within those Class Bubbles is an additional measure, to limit the extent of close contact within the Class Bubble.

Pod sizes will be kept as small as is likely to be reasonably practical in the specific classroom context.

To the greatest extent possible, pupils and teaching staff will consistently be in the same Class Bubbles although this will not be possible at all times.

Different Class Bubbles will, where possible, have separate breaks and meal times or separate areas at break or meal times.

Sharing educational material between Pods will be avoided/minimised where possible.

Staff members who move from class bubble to class bubble should be limited as much as possible.

Additional measures to decrease interaction include:

  • Limit interaction on arrival and departure and in hallways and other shared areas.
  • Social physical contact (hand to hand greetings, hugs) will be discouraged.
  • Where pupils need to move about within the classroom to perform activities (access to a shared resource) it will be organized to the greatest degree possible to minimize congregation at the shared resource.
  • Staff and pupils will avoid sharing of personal items.
  • Encourage pupils to avoid behaviours that involve hand to mouth contact (putting pens/pencils in the mouth).
  • Where teaching and learning involves use of keyboards or tablets, the contact surface of the device will be cleaned regularly and hand hygiene encouraged.

Staff:

  • A distance of 2m is recommended for physical distancing by staff. This is particularly relevant to distancing between adults when they are not engaged in teaching such as the staff room and arriving to work.
  • If 2m cannot be maintained in staff groups, as much as distance as is possible and updated guidance on face covering will be observed.
  • Physical distancing will be observed between staff members within the staff room through the use of staggered breaks etc.
  • Staff meetings will be held remotely or in small groups or in large spaces to facilitate physical distancing.
  • Implement no hand shaking policy.
  • Minimise gathering of school staff at the beginning or end of the school day.
  • Staff can rotate between areas/classes but this will be minimized where possible.

Corridors and Stairwells:

Briefly passing someone in a hall is very unlikely to contribute significantly to the spread of infection if people do not have physical contact and avoid informal group discussions.

Yard/Supervision:

  • The risk of transmission from contact with outside surfaces or play areas is low.
  • There are adjusted play times/outdoor activities to minimise crowding at the entrance and exits.
  • It is not possible to maintain physical distancing when pupils in primary schools play together outdoors, but in so far as practical it is helpful to keep to consistent groups.
  • Stagger break times and outdoor access.
  • Children will be encouraged to perform hand hygiene before and after outdoor activities.
  • Minimise equipment sharing and clean shared equipment between uses by different people.

Ventilation:

The Department has published guidance setting out the practical steps for good ventilation in accordance with public health advice ‘Practical Steps for the Deployment of Good Ventilation Practices in Schools’ The guidance sets out an overall approach for schools that windows should be open as fully as possible when classrooms are not in use (e.g. during break-times or lunch-times (assuming not in use) and also at the end of each school day) and partially open when classrooms are in use. The guidance provides that good ventilation can be achieved in classrooms without causing discomfort, particularly during cold weather.

Lead Worker Representative – Primary Schools:

Lead Worker Representative (LWR): Ms. Alicia Farrell
Assistant Lead Worker Representative (ALWR): Ms. Aideen McLoughlin

The Work Safely Protocol is designed to support employers and workers to put infection control measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The Protocol was developed following discussion and agreement between the Government, Trade Unions and Employers at the Labour Employer Economic Forum.

The Protocol provides for the appointment of a Lead Worker Representative (LWR) in each workplace. The LWR will work in collaboration with the employer to assist in the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of COVID -19 and monitor adherence to those measures and to be involved in communicating the health advice around COVID-19 in the workplace.

The purpose of this section is to set out the provisions in respect of the LWR in schools. The operation of these arrangements will be kept under review by the parties.

This document should be read in conjunction with:

  • The Work Safely Protocol.
  • the Guidance and FAQs for Public Service Employers during COVID-19;
  • COVID-19 Response Plan for Primary and Special Schools (available on the Department of Education website).

See Appendix 3 for more details of role of LWR and ALWR.

Impact of COVID-19 on certain school activities:

Choir/Music Performance: Choir practices and music practices involving wind instruments may pose a higher level of risk and the room must be well-ventilated and the distance between performers is maintained. Music will be in class bubbles/pods only.

Sport Activities: Link to return to sport protocols is found here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/07253-return-to-sport-protocols/

Where possible PE will take place out doors and use of equipment will be minimised. Common touch areas will be cleaned between uses by different class bubbles.

Shared Equipment - Toys:

  • All toys should be cleaned on a regular basis. This will remove dust and dirt that can harbour germs.
  • Toys that are visibly dirty or contaminated with blood or bodily fluids should be taken out of use immediately for cleaning or disposal.
  • When purchasing toys choose ones that are easy to clean and disinfect (when necessary).
  • If cloth or soft toys are used, they should be machine washable.
  • Jigsaws, puzzles and toys that young pupils to those with special educational needs may be inclined to put into their mouths should be capable of being washed and disinfected.
  • All play equipment should be checked for signs of damage for example breaks or cracks. If they cannot be repaired or cleaned, they should be discarded.
  • Clean toys and equipment should be stored in a clean container or clean cupboard. The manufacturer’s instructions should always be followed.
  • At this time soft modelling materials and play dough where used should be for individual use only.

Cleaning Procedure for Toys:

  • Wash the toy in warm soapy water, using a brush to get into crevices.
  • Rinse the toy in clean water.
  • Thoroughly dry the toy.
  • Some hard plastic toys may be suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher.
  • Toys that cannot be immersed in water that is electronic or wind up should be wiped with a damp cloth and dried.
  • In some situations, toys/equipment may need to be disinfected following cleaning for example: toys/equipment that pupils place in their mouths. Toys/equipment that have been soiled with blood or body fluids or toys where a case of COVID-19 has been identified.
  • If disinfection is required: A chlorine releasing disinfectant should be used diluted to a concentration of 1,000ppm available chlorine. The item should be rinsed and dried thoroughly.

Art:

Where possible pupils should be encouraged to have their own individual art and equipment supplies.

Electronics:

Shared electronic devices such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards will be cleaned between use.

Musical Equipment/Instruments:

To the greatest extent possible, instruments will not be shared between pupils and if sharing is required, the instruments should be cleaned between uses.

Books:

Pupils will have their own books. PM readers will be removed for 72 hours before use by another group. Pupils will perform hand hygiene after using any shared item.

Shared Sports Equipment:

Minimise equipment sharing and clean shared equipment between uses by different people.

Hygiene and Cleaning in Schools

  • Cleaners will follow the guidelines provided by the Department of Education and the HSE. The school will be cleaned daily.
  • Additional cleaning will be focused on frequently touched surfaces – door handles, hand rails, chairs/arm rests, communal eating areas, sink and toilet facilities.
  • All staff will have access to cleaning products and will be required to maintain cleanliness of their own work area.
  • Staff should thoroughly clean and disinfect their work area before and after use each day.
  • There will be daily collection of used waste disposal bags from offices and other areas within the school facility.
  • Shower facilities shall not be available for use by staff or pupils due to the increased risk associated with communal shower facilities and areas. This shall be reviewed in line with government guidance.
  • Staff must use and clean their own equipment and utensils (cup, cutlery, plate etc.)

Cleaning/Disinfecting rooms where a pupil/staff member with suspected COVID-19 was present:

  • The room should be cleaned as soon as practicably possible.
  • Once the room is vacated the room should not be reused until the room has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry.
  • Disinfection only works on things that are clean. When disinfection is required it is always as well as cleaning.
  • Person assigned to cleaning should avoid touching their face while they are cleaning and should wear household gloves and a plastic apron.
  • Clean the environment and furniture using disposable cleaning cloths and a household detergent followed by disinfection with a chlorine based product (household bleach).
  • Pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces, the back of chairs, couches, door handles and any surfaces that are visibly soiled with body fluids.
  • Once the room has been cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry, the room can be reused.
  • If a pupil or staff diagnosed with COVID-19 spent time in a communal area like a canteen, play area or if they used the toilet or bathroom facilities, then the areas should be cleaned with household detergent followed by a disinfectant (as outlined in the HPSC interim health advice) as soon as is practically possible.

Special Educational Needs

Additional considerations for those with Special Educational Needs:

For children with special educational needs (SEN) maintaining physical distancing in many instances will not be practical or appropriate to implement. The focus should therefore be on emphasising that parents/guardians should have a heightened awareness of signs, symptoms or changes in baseline which suggests illness/COVID-19 infection and where symptoms are present children should not attend school.

Similarly, staff should be aware of their responsibility not to attend work if they develop signs or symptoms of respiratory illness.

Hand hygiene:

Children who are unable to wash their hands by themselves should be assisted to clean their hands using soap and water or a hand sanitiser (if their hands are visibly clean) as outlined previously.

Equipment:

Some children may have care needs (physical or behavioural) which requires the use of aids and appliances and/or medical equipment for example toileting aids, moving and handling equipment, respiratory equipment. Where cleaning of aids and appliances is carried out in the school it is recommended that a cleaning schedule is provided, detailing when and how the equipment is cleaned and the cleaning products to be used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.

  • Equipment used to deliver care should be visibly clean;
  • Care equipment should be cleaned in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions. Cleaning is generally achieved using a general purpose detergent and warm water;
  • Equipment that is used on different children must be cleaned and, if required, disinfected immediately after use and before use by another child e.g. toileting aids;
  • If equipment is soiled with body fluids:
  • First clean thoroughly with detergent and water;
  • Then disinfect by wiping with a freshly prepared solution of disinfectant;
  • Rinse with water and dry

COVID-19 related Absence Management

The management of a COVID-19 related absence will be managed in line with agreed procedures with the Department of Education.

Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme

The Department recognises the need for school staff wellbeing and collective self-care. Support for school staff wellbeing will be provided by Department Support Services including the PDST and CSL, as well as by the HSE’s Health Promotion Team. An Occupational Health Strategy is in place as a supportive resource for staff in schools. The aim of the Occupational Health Strategy is to promote the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace, with a strong focus on prevention. The Occupational Health Strategy comprises the Employee Assistance Service and the Occupational Health Service. The Employee Assistance Service (EAS) is provided by Spectrum.Life under the logo of ‘Wellbeing Together: Folláinne Le Chéile’.

Under the EAS, employees have a dedicated free-phone confidential helpline 1800 411 057 available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year providing advice on a range of issues such as wellbeing, legal, financial, mediation, management support etc. Where required, short-term counselling is available to employees and their families (over the age of 18 years and living at home). A bespoke wellbeing portal and app which offers access to podcasts and blogs on topics around wellbeing and mental health, family life, exercise and nutrition is also available. In addition online cognitive behavioural therapy is provided. As part of the services provided by Spectrum.Life a Mental Health Promotion Manager is available to develop and deliver evidence based mental health and wellbeing initiatives to reduce stigma and improve mental health literacy and to increase engagement with the service. They will also be providing a series of webinars and presentations to promote staff wellbeing in schools as schools reopen and during the upcoming school year.

Supporting the Learning of Children who cannot Attend School:

  • Provide the school with written confirmation from a relevant medical professional
  • Work and school supports will be provided from existing school resources. This may include teachers who are isolating/ cannot attend the school premises
  • Regular and ongoing communication between school and home will be essential to support the pupil’s engagement and connection with their classmates and the school community.

Under the direction of the school principal, the deputy principal will arrange through the SET team for:

  • Liaising between the relevant SET teacher and class teacher regarding curricular content and classwork
  • Access to relevant learning resources
  • Provision of individualised support for the pupil’s learning which may include an individualised support plan or IEP
  • Work to increase the pupil’s autonomy, motivation and agency and wellbeing
  • Improve the pupil’s capacity to a self- directed learner
  • Support the development of the pupil’s digital competence where necessary
  • Avail of the Class Dojo/ Aladdin Connect used by the school to ensure ongoing contact between the pupil and school and to facilitate some engagement with his/her class teacher and classmates
  • See St. Coen’s Remote Learning Plan

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on: 25/2/2021.

Signed:
Mary Murphy
Chairperson BOM
Date: 25/2/2021

Lee Kavanagh
Principal/Secretary BOM
Date: 25/2/2021

APPENDIX 1 - COVID-19 Policy Statement

St. Coen’s N.S., (Roll No: 20208M,) is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our pupils. To ensure that, we have developed and updated the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will:

  • continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff;
  • provide up to date information to our staff and pupils on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie;
  • display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand-washing techniques;
  • agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan;
  • inform all staff and pupils of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements;
  • adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the guidance and direction of the Department of Education;
  • keep a contact log to help with contact tracing;
  • ensure staff engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education;
  • implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school;
  • provide instructions for staff and pupils to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time;
  • implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice.

All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.

This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s) (Ms. Alicia Farrell and Ms. Aideen McLoughlin), who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.

Signed:
Mary Murphy
Chairperson BOM
Date: 25/2/2021

Lee Kavanagh
Principal/Secretary BOM
Date: 25/2/2021

APPENDIX 2 - Return to Work Form

Appendix 2

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Appendix 2 - St Coen’s NS COVID-19 Return to Work Form

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APPENDIX 3 - Lead Worker Representative – Primary and Special Schools

The Work Safely Protocol is designed to support employers and workers to put infection control measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The Protocol was developed following discussion and agreement between the Government, Trade Unions and Employers at the Labour Employer Economic Forum.

The Protocol provides for the appointment of a Lead Worker Representative (LWR) in each workplace. The LWR will work in collaboration with the employer to assist in the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of COVID -19 and monitor adherence to those measures and to be involved in communicating the health advice around COVID-19 in the workplace.

The purpose of this section is to set out the provisions in respect of the LWR in schools. The operation of these arrangements will be kept under review by the parties.

This document should be read in conjunction with:

  • The Work Safely Protocol;
  • the Guidance and FAQs for Public Service Employers during COVID-19;
  • COVID-19 Response Plan for Primary and Special Schools (available on the Department of Education website).

1. Collaborative Approach:

Responsibility for the development and implementation of the COVID-19 Response Plan and the associated infection prevention control measures lies primarily with the Board of Management/ Education and Training Board and school management.

Strong communication and a shared collaborative approach is key to protecting against the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and looking after the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and pupils. Adherence to the Work Safely Protocol will only be achieved if everyone has a shared responsibility in implementing the measures contained within the Protocol in their place of work.

If a staff member has any concerns or observations in relation to the COVID-19 Response Plan, control measures or the adherence to such measures by staff, students or others, they should contact the LWR who will engage with school management.

2. Role of the Lead Worker Representative:

In summary, the role of the LWR is to:

  • Represent all staff in the workplace regardless of role, and be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts;
  • Work collaboratively with school management to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19;
  • Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 public health advice;
  • In conjunction with school management, promote good hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with public health advice;
  • Assist school management with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace in line with the Work Safely Protocol and current public health advice;
  • In conjunction with school management, monitor adherence to infection prevention control measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
  • Conduct regular reviews of safety measures;
  • Report any issues of concern immediately to school management and keep records of such issues and actions taken to rectify them;
  • Consult with the school management on the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan in the event of someone developing COVID-19 while in school including the location of an isolation area and a safe route to that area;
  • Following any incident assess with the school management any follow up action that is required;
  • Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace;
  • Make representations to school management on behalf of their colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.

3. What can a Lead Worker Representative Do?

The LWR may consult with, and make representations to, school management on any issue of concern in relation to COVID-19. These include issues in relation to:

  • Cleaning protocols and their implementation
  • Physical Distancing
  • Implementation of one-way systems in the school to ensure social distancing including when entering and exiting the school
  • Hand Hygiene facilities including their location and whether they are stocked and maintained
  • Hand sanitising
  • Staff awareness around hand hygiene in the school
  • Respiratory hygiene
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • At Risk Groups
  • Visitors/Contractors

4. Lead Worker Representative:

Every school will appoint one Lead Worker Representative.

5. Deputy Lead Worker Representative/ Assistant Lead Worker Representative:

In schools with less than 30 staff, a Deputy Lead Worker Representative will be appointed in addition to the LWR. The role of the Deputy LWR will be to deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent.

In schools with 30 or more staff and in all Special schools, an Assistant Lead Worker Representative will be appointed in addition to the LWR. The role of the Assistant LWR will be to:

  • assist the LWR in their duties as set out above; and
  • deputise as LWR where the LWR is absent

6. Selection of Lead Worker Representative/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR:

The school staff are entitled to select staff members for the LWR, Deputy LWR and Assistant LWR positions as appropriate. The LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR represents all staff in the workplace regardless of role and must be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts. In this regard, if a teacher is selected for the role of LWR, then the Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR should be selected from the non-teaching staff where feasible and vice versa.

The process for the selection and appointment of the LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR as appropriate should be arrived at by consultation and consensus at school level, through the seeking of volunteers to act in that capacity. Where there is more than one volunteer, all school staff should vote to select the LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR.

The LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR will, following selection by the school staff, be formally appointed by the employer. LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR will be required to confirm, prior to taking up the role, that they have completed the provided training and that they are fully aware of the requirements of the role.

7. Supports for the Lead Worker Representative/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR:

The LWR/ Deputy LWR/ Assistant LWR shall be entitled to:

  • Receive information and training in respect of their role;
  • Be consulted by school management on the control measures being put in place by the school to minimise the risk of being exposed to COVID-19;
  • Regular communication with school management on issues related to COVID-19;
  • Be informed of changes in practice arising from COVID-19 response measures.

Where the LWR/ Assistant LWR is a teacher (including a postholder), the 10 Croke Park hours which can currently be used for planning on other than a whole school basis will be utilised by the LWR and Assistant LWR to carry out their duties in that role.

Where the LWR/ Assistant LWR is an SNA, 10 of the “72 hours” will be utilised by the LWR and Assistant LWR to carry out their duties in that role.

Where the LWR/ Assistant LWR is a Secretary or Caretaker, a re-prioritisation of duties by school management should be carried out to afford the staff member sufficient time to carry out their duties in that role.

8. Procedure for dealing with issues that arise:

Where an issue of concern is identified by the LWR (or is notified to the LWR by a staff member), the LWR should bring this to the attention of the Principal. Action points for addressing the issue should where possible be agreed between the LWR and the Principal. Staff should be informed of the outcome.

If agreement cannot be reached, the LWR may notify the Board of Management (Chairperson of the BoM in the first instance)/ Education and Training Board head office of the issue. Action points for addressing the issue should where possible be agreed between the LWR and the BoM/ETB head office. Staff should be informed of the outcome.

Glossary of Terms

COVID-19 Response Plan: plan designed to support the staff and BOM/ ETB in putting infection prevention control measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the school environment. The plan details the policies and practices necessary for a school to meet the Work Safely Protocol, Department of Education and public health guidance to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in the school environment. COVID-19 Response Plans for Primary and Special Schools are available on the Department’s website.

Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF): the forum for high level dialogue between Government, Trade Union and Employer representatives on matters of strategic national importance - involves the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Government & Employers.

Work Safely Protocol: national protocol designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Safety Representative: Section 25 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 sets out the selection and role of the Safety Representative in the workplace. The rights of the Safety Representative are set out in legislation. (Note: A Safety Representative has rights and not duties under the 2005 Act). This role is separate to the LWR under COVID-19.

APPENDIX 4 - St. Coen’s N.S. COVID-19 Risk Assessment Templates

Appendix 4

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Appendix 4a - St Coen’s NS COVID-19 Risk Template

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Appendix 4b - Risk Assessment for Toileting in ASD Area

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APPENDIX 5 - St. Coen’s N.S. Contact Tracing Log

Appendix 5

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Appendix 5 - COVID-19 Contact Tracing Log

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APPENDIX 6 - Checklist for School Management

Composite Checklist for Schools:

This checklist supports planning and preparation, control measures and induction needed to support a safe return to school for pupils, staff, parents and others.

For completion by the agreed person with overall responsibility of managing the implementation of the COVID-19 Response plan in line with the supports as agreed with Department of Education.

Planning and Systems:

  1. Is there a system in place to keep up to date with the latest advice from Government and Department of Education, to ensure that advice is made available in a timely manner
  2. to staff and pupils and to adjust your plans and procedures in line with that advice?
  3. Have you prepared a school COVID-19 response plan and made it available to staff and pupils? Department guidance and templates provided
  4. Have you a system in place to provide staff and pupils with information and guidance on the measures that have been put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus and what is expected of them?
  5. Have you displayed the COVID-19 posters in suitable locations highlighting the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
  6. Have you told staff of the purpose of the COVID-19 contact log?
  7. Have you a COVID-19 contact log in place to support HSE tracing efforts if required? (Contact log template attached).
  8. Have you informed staff on the measures and provided a system for them to raise issues or concerns and to have them responded to?
  9. Have you reviewed and updated risk assessments in line with DES advice to take account of any controls to help prevent the spread of COVID-19? (Risk template above)
  10. Have you updated emergency plans, if necessary to take account of the COVID-19 response plan?

Staff:

  1. Have you made available to each staff member a COVID-19 return-to-work form to be completed and returned before they return to the workplace? (Template above)
  2. Have you request confirmation that the details in the Return to Work Form remain unchanged following periods of closure such as school holidays.
  3. Are you aware of staff members who are at very high risk under the HSE guidance on people most at risk (HSE guidance on people most at-risk) and advised them of the DES agreed arrangements for management of those staff?
  4. Have you advised staff and pupils they must stay at home if sick or if they have any symptoms of COVID-19?
  5. Have you advised staff and pupils not to return to or attend school if they are identified by the HSE as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus.
  6. Have you advised staff and pupils not to return or attend school if they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances staff are advised to consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel.
  7. Have you told staff and pupils what to do and what to expect if they start to develop symptoms of COVID-19 in school, including where the isolation area is?
  8. Have you advised staff and pupils to cooperate with any public health officials and the school for contact tracing purposes and follow any public health advice in the event of a case or outbreak in the school;
  9. Have you advised staff of the availability of the supports of the occupational health and wellbeing programme through Spectrum Life?
  10. Has a lead worker representative been identified (in line with the process agreed with the DES and education partners) and detailed at Section 4.3 of this plan to help advise staff and to monitor compliance with COVID-19 control measures in the school and taken measures to ensure all staff know who the representative is?

Training and Induction:

  1. Have you advised staff to view the Department of Education’s training materials which are available online?
  2. Have you taken the necessary steps to update your school induction / familiarisation training to include any additional information relating to COVID-19 for your school?
  3. Have first aiders, if available, been given updated training on infection prevention and control re: hand hygiene and use of PPE as appropriate?

Buildings / Equipment:

  1. If you have mechanical ventilation does it need cleaning or maintenance before the school reopens after periods of closure?
  2. Does your water system need flushing at outlets following low usage to prevent Legionnaire’s Disease?
  3. Have you visually checked, or had someone check, all equipment in the school for signs of deterioration or damage before being used again?
  4. Have you arranged for the school, including all equipment, desks, benches, doors and frequent touched surfaces points, to be cleaned once a day.

Infection Prevention Control Measures in place:

Hand / respiratory hygiene:

  1. Have you accessed supplies of hand sanitisers and any necessary PPE equipment in line with the interim HPSC health guidance from the national framework provided by the Department?
  2. Are there hand washing/hand sanitising stations in place to accommodate staff, pupils and visitors adhering to hand hygiene measures in accordance with Department guidance?
  3. Have arrangements been made for staff and pupils to have regular access to hand-washing/hand sanitising facilities as appropriate?
  4. Are hand sanitisers easily available and accessible for all staff, pupils and visitors – e.g. in each classroom and at entry and exit points to school buildings?
  5. Have you made arrangements to ensure hand hygiene facilities are regularly checked and well-stocked?
  6. Does the alcohol-based hand sanitiser have at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient?
  7. Have you informed staff about the importance of hand washing?
  8. Have you arranged for staff to view how to wash their hands (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds) and dry them correctly through the use of the HSE video resource?
  9. Have you shown staff and pupils how to use hand sanitiser correctly and where hand-sanitising stations are located?
  10. Have you displayed posters on how to wash hands correctly in appropriate locations?
  11. Have you told staff and pupils when they need to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser? This includes:
  12. before and after eating and preparing food
  13. after coughing or sneezing
  14. after using the toilet
  15. where hands are dirty
  16. before and after wearing gloves
  17. before and after being on public transport
  18. before leaving home
  19. when arriving/leaving the school /other sites
  20. when entering and exiting vehicles
  21. after touching potentially contaminated surfaces
  22. if in contact with someone displaying any COVID-19 symptoms
  23. Has you told staff and pupils of the importance of good respiratory measures to limit the spread of the virus?
  24. avoid touching the face, eyes, nose and mouth
  25. cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue
  26. dispose of tissues in a covered bin

Physical Distancing:

  1. Have you identified all available school space to be used to maximise physical distancing?
  2. Have you reviewed the templates provided by the Department of Education which show options for revised layout of school rooms to meet physical distancing requirements?
  3. Have you arranged to revise the layout of the rooms and furniture as per the Department guidelines if necessary?
  4. Have you arranged in each room that the teacher’s desk should be at least 1m and where possible 2m away from pupil desks?
  5. Have you arranged in each room that pupils would be at least 1m away from each other?
  6. Have you allocated work stations consistently to the same staff and children rather than having spaces that are shared?
  7. Have you structured pupils and their teachers into Class Bubbles (i.e. a class grouping which stays apart from other classes as much as possible) and discrete groups or “Pods” within those class bubbles to the extent that this is practical?
  8. If you have divided a class into Pods, have you arranged at least 1m distance between individual Pods within the class bubble and between individuals in the pod, whenever possible?
  9. Have you taken steps to limit contact and sharing of common facilities between people in different Class Bubbles (and Pods within those class bubbles) as much as possible?
  10. Have you arranged Pod sizes to be as small as it is likely to be reasonably practical in the specific classroom context?
  11. Have you arranged to the greatest extent possible for pupils and teaching staff to be consistently in the same Class Bubbles acknowledging that this will not be possible at all times?
  12. Have you arranged where possible that different class bubbles to have separate breaks and meal times or separate areas at break or meal times?
  13. Have you made arrangements to limit interaction on arrival and departure from school and in other shared areas?
  14. Have you encouraged walking or cycling to school as much as possible?
  15. Have you made arrangements, in so far as practicable, to open additional access points to school to reduce congestion?
  16. Can you provide a one system for entering and exiting the school, where practical?
  17. Have you arranged for staff meetings to be held remotely or in small groups or in large spaces to facilitate physical distancing?
  18. Have you a system to regularly remind staff and pupils to maintain physical distancing
  19. Have you advised staff not to shake hands and to avoid any physical contact?
  20. Have you advised staff of the Department’s guidance to achieve good ventilation
  21. Have you checked any mechanical ventilation systems to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air is used

Visitors to Schools:

  1. Have you identified the activities that involve interacting with essential visitors to the school, made arrangements to minimise the number of such visitors and put in place measures to prevent physical contact, as far as possible?
  2. Are there arrangements in place to inform essential visitors to the school of the measures to help prevent the spread of infection?
  3. Have you a system in place for all visitors who do need to come to the school to make appointment, arrange to contact a central point and to record their visit using the contact tracing log?

APPENDIX 7 - Checklist for dealing with a suspected case of COVID-19

Staff members will be required to manage a suspected case in line with the protocol and training.

A nominated member of the school management team will be nominated as the designated contact person for ensuring that all aspects of the protocol to deal with suspected cases have been adhered to.

Isolation Area:

  1. Have you identified a place that can be used as an isolation area, preferably with a door that can close?
  2. The isolation area does not have to be a separate room but if it is not a room it should be 2m away from others in the room.
  3. Is the isolation area accessible, including to staff and pupils with disabilities?
  4. Is the route to the isolation area accessible?
  5. Have you a contingency plan for dealing with more than one suspected case of COVID-19?
  6. Are the following available in the isolation area(s)?
  7. Tissues
  8. Hand sanitiser
  9. Disinfectant/wipes
  10. Gloves/Masks
  11. Waste Bags
  12. Bins

Isolating a Person:

  1. Are procedures in place to accompany the infected person to the isolation area, along the isolation route with physical distancing from them?
  2. Are staff familiar with this procedure?
  3. Have others been advised to maintain a distance of at least 2m from the affected person at all times?
  4. Is there a disposable mask to wear for the affected person while in the common area and when exiting the building?

Arranging for the affected person to leave the school:

  1. Staff – have you established by asking them if the staff members feel well enough to travel home?
  2. Pupil – have you immediately contacted their parents/guardians and arranged for them to collect their pupil? Under no circumstances can a pupil use public or school transport to travel home if they are a suspected case of COVID-19.
  3. The affected person should be advised to avoid touching other people, surfaces and objects.
  4. The affected person been advised to cover their mouth and nose with disposable tissue(s) when they cough or sneeze, and to put the tissue in the bin.
  5. Has transport home or to an assessment centre been arranged if the affected person has been directed to go there by their GP?
  6. Has the affected person been advised not to go to their GP’s surgery or any pharmacy or hospital?
  7. Has the affected person been advised they must not use public transport?
  8. Has the affected person been advised to continue wearing the face mask until the reach home?

Follow up:

  1. Have you carried out an assessment of the incident to identify any follow-up actions needed?
  2. Are you available to provide advice and assistance if contacted by the HSE?

Cleaning:

  1. Have you taken the isolation area out-of-use until cleaned and disinfected?
  2. Have you made arrangements to clean and disinfect any classroom space where the staff or pupils were located?
  3. Have you arranged for cleaning and disinfection of the isolation area and any other areas involved, as soon as practical after the affected person has left the building?
  4. Have the cleaners been trained in dealing with contaminated areas and supplied with the appropriate PPE?).

APPENDIX 8 - Checklist Lead Worker Representative

  1. Have you agreed with your school to act as a Lead worker representative for your school? (Process for agreeing on lead worker representative/s in schools to be agreed centrally and implemented locally).
  2. Have you been provided with information and training in relation to the role of lead worker representative? (Training for this role is currently being explored with the HSA).
  3. Are you keeping up to date with the latest COVID-19 advice from Government?
  4. Are you aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
  5. Do you know how the virus is spread?
  6. Do you know how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
  7. Have you watched and do you understand the online Induction Training provided by the Department of Education before returning to school?
  8. Are you helping in keeping your fellow workers up to date with the latest COVID-19 advice from Government?
  9. Have you completed the COVID-19 return-to-work form and given it to your school? (Department template Return-to-Work form available)
  10. Are you aware of the control measures your school has put in place to minimise the risk of you and others being exposed to COVID-19? (Checklist for School Management available)
  11. Did your school consult with you when putting control measures in place? Control measures will be agreed centrally between the Department and education partners. Consultation at school level should take place on any specific local arrangements necessary to implement the protocol
  12. Have you a means of regular communication with the person with overall responsibility for the school COVID-19 plan?
  13. Are you co-operating with your school to make sure these control measures are maintained?
  14. Have you familiarised yourself with the cleaning requirements needed to help prevent cross contamination? (Checklist for Cleaning and Disinfection available)
  15. Have you been asked to walk around and check that the control measures are in place and are being maintained?
  16. Are you reporting immediately to the person with overall responsibility for the school COVID-19 plan any problems, areas of non-compliance or defects that you see?
  17. Are you keeping a record of any problems, areas of non-compliance or defects and what action was taken to remedy the issue?
  18. Are you familiar with what to do in the event of someone developing the symptoms of COVID-19 while at school?
  19. Are you co-operating with your school in identifying an isolation area and a safe route to that area? (Checklist for dealing with suspected case of COVID-19 available)
  20. Are you helping in the management of someone developing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school?
  21. Once the affected person has left the school, are you helping in assessing what follow-up action is needed?
  22. Are you helping in maintaining the contact log?
  23. Have you been made aware of any changes to the emergency plans or first aid procedures for your school?
  24. Are you making yourself available to fellow staff to listen to any COVID-19 control concerns or suggestions they may have?
  25. Are you raising those control concerns or suggestions with your school and feeding back the response to the worker who raised the issue?
  26. Are you aware of the availability of the Spectrum Life Wellbeing Together Programme?

APPENDIX 9 - Checklist for Cleaning

  1. Have you a system in place for checking and keeping up to date with the latest public health advice from Government and the Department of Education, to ensure that advice is made available in a timely manner in order to adjust your cleaning procedures in line with that advice?
  2. Have you reviewed the HPSC interim health advice for the safe reopening of schools, in particular Section 5.6 Environmental Hygiene?
  3. Have you explained the need for the enhanced cleaning regime to staff?
  4. Are you aware that cleaning is best achieved using a general purpose detergent and warm water, clean cloths, mops and the mechanical action of wiping and cleaning, following by rinsing and drying?
  5. Have you sufficient cleaning materials in place to support the enhanced cleaning regime?
  6. Have you provided training for cleaning staff on the enhanced cleaning regime?
  7. Have you made arrangements for the regular and safe emptying of bins?
  8. Are you familiar with the cleaning options for school settings set out in the interim HPSC health advice for schools for surfaces, toilets, cleaning equipment, PPE and waste management?
  9. Are you aware that each school setting should be cleaned once per day?
  10. Have you provided cleaning materials to staff so that they can clean their own desk or immediate workspace?
  11. Have you advised staff that they are responsible for cleaning personal items that have been brought to work and are likely to be handled at work or during breaks (for example, mobile phone and laptops) and to avoid leaving them down on communal surfaces or they will need to clean the surface after the personal item is removed?
  12. Have you advised staff and pupils to avoid sharing items such as cups, bottles, cutlery, and pens?
  13. Have you put in place a written cleaning schedule to be made available to cleaning staff including:
  14. Items and areas to be cleaned
  15. Frequency of cleaning
  16. Cleaning materials to be used
  17. Cleaning of frequently touched surfaces such as vending machines, coffee machines and door handles
  18. Equipment to be used and method of operation?
  19. Details of how to clean following a suspected case of COVID-19 are at Section 7 of the Plan above
  20. If disinfection of contaminated surfaces is required, is a system in place to do this following cleaning?
  21. If cleaning staff have been instructed to wear gloves when cleaning are they aware of the need to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, both before and after wearing gloves?
  22. Have you a system in place for disposing personal waste such as cleaning cloths and used wipes in a rubbish bag? The Protocol advises that personal waste such as cleaning waste, tissues etc. should be double bagged and stored in a secure area for 72 hours before being presented for general waste collection.
  23. Have you ensured there is a system in place to make sure reusable cleaning equipment including mop heads and non-disposable cloths are clean before re-use?
  24. Have you ensured there is a system in place to ensure that equipment such as buckets are emptied and cleaned with a fresh solution of disinfectant before re-use?