The latest roadmap out of lockdown announced that as from Monday 8th March, children are able to go back to school. It’s a welcome relief for many parents who have been juggling home schooling with work, but with COVID still very much a part of our lives, you may still be worrying about how safe it is for children to be back in a school environment.
Younger kids don’t always understand the importance in hygiene and cleanliness like adults do, so it’s certainly a challenge to keep COVID at bay in a school environment. However, the safety measures at schools are under constant scrutiny and are being reviewed on a regular basis in order to formulate a plan that works best for everyone.
Since the last lockdown, new rules have now been implemented including a new daily testing system, alongside some of the older tried-and-tested social distancing practices. Here are some of the safety measures that are being used currently in schools across the UK:
The new rapid testing system takes between only 20 and 30 minutes to give a positive or negative result, and will be given to children three times a week over the course of two weeks. After that, your children can carry out the tests at home twice a week.
If a member of staff or student test positive, then they will be required to isolate following the latest COVID-19 isolation guidelines. Testing is voluntary, and those who don’t wish to take the test are still allowed to go to school.
Since the virus first came about, the cleaning industry has been working hard to develop specialist equipment that is proven to eradicate the virus. Your child’s school will likely be employing cleaning services, such as those offered by Ideal Cleaning, that have experience in cleaning commercial buildings and communal areas to the highest standards. Knowing that your child is attending a school which is cleaned properly and regularly will help to put your mind at ease.
For students in secondary schools, colleges and universities, wearing a mask is mandatory, however the rules do not apply to children in primary schools and nurseries. If your child is happy to wear a mask then you can allow them to do so, but they won’t get in trouble for not having one.
Some of the measures put into place to ensure social distancing takes place include varied timetables, smaller class sizes and inaccessible social areas. IT suites, canteens and other social areas are likely to be cornered off so that students can’t all congregate in one area.
Your child’s school will also provide personalised stationary to each child so that they don’t have to share, as well as readily available hand sanitiser to be used regularly throughout the day. Doors will be kept open to encourage the flow of air, and signs and marked floors will help students to know what they should and shouldn’t be doing.