Back to school: All year groups, full time in a COVID-19 world
Back to School, these words seem to have come around so quickly this summer and feel like they hold such weighty questions.
What does back to school look like for September 2020?
How do the teachers and school professionals feel?
How do the parents and children feel?
All questions we can’t answer and right now most of us know very little about what the 2020-21 school year holds. However, one thing we do know; it’s going to look a lot different than it did in the pre-COVID-19 days.
The government guidance for full opening schools published in August of this year, advises that the plan is for all pupils in all year groups to return to school full time from the beginning of the autumn term.
What Back to School Could Look Like
Unfortunately, there are no one-size fits all scenarios and this will undoubtably put our School Leaders under more pressure than ever.
School Leaders understand the needs of their schools and communities and much like we recommend with ICFP metrics the leaders will need to make informed judgements at pace.
For this academic year the expectation on delivering a broad and balanced curriculum with the additional measures in place to manage risk has increased significantly. The Department for Education have produced guidelines for schools to follow as they start to reopen again, however depending on your region each school’s plan will look different.
For School Leaders September can feel a truly daunting time even pre COVID-19, between end of year audits, setting up the new financial year on the MIS, ensuring resources have arrived and been distributed, potentially summer building works clear up, new staff inductions, PD days, catering menus, policy reviews, risk assessments the list goes on. This year there is the added delay of the submission of the BFR3Y due 29th September.
Here are a few ways to ensure that you are prepared this September;
Ensure all health and safety risk assessments have been reviewed and plans drawn up that identify the system of controls that you are using.
Notify parents of the ‘do not attend school’ procedure for ensuring those who have coronavirus symptoms or who have someone in their household who does.
Ensure staff are trained on the prevention procedures, measures within the classroom, and managing confirmed cases of coronavirus amongst the community.
Access support on offer: The Department for Education are supporting trusts and schools that are experiencing financial difficulties associated with loss of income because of the lockdown. They are also supporting trusts and schools that need help with financial planning as students begin returning to the classroom. The latter includes budget planning, reviewing office procedures and assisting with cost effective ways to introduce socially distanced measures in setting.
There is support offered to all School Leaders in these challenging times and we have collected some useful links that may help you mobilising your new academic year.
EPI is also here to help, however we can, so please do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org