This article has been brought to you by Slough Borough Council's Interim Workforce Development and Sufficiency Coordinator, Clare Thompson, for the attention of all Early Years settings.
A new public information campaign has been launched ahead of winter to highlight how everyone can help to stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Prime Minister has launched the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ campaign urging the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates and avoid a second peak. In line with this the DfE have produced a communications toolkit for universities in England, but which may be of wider interest. Consistent adoption of these behaviours is particularly important in places outside of educational settings which do not implement the wider protective measures in the system of controls set out in our detailed guidance:
- Actions for Schools
- Actions for Further Education Colleges
- Actions for Higher Education Providers
- Actions for Specialist Settings
- Actions for Early Years and Childcare Providers
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an easy virus to kill when it is on skin. It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Schools and other education settings must ensure that staff and pupils clean their hands regularly, including when they arrive, when they return from breaks, when they change rooms and before and after eating.
Responding to those with Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
It is vital that educational settings only ask children or staff to self-isolate and recommend they get a test if they develop Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Those sent home to self-isolate, having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, should only get tested if they develop symptoms themselves. The symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. The capacity of the NHS Test and Trace system must be protected for those with symptoms of the virus. Booking is essential for drive in and walk in test sites, and under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
In line with DfE guidance, the home test kits supplied to schools and colleges must be reserved for those who face significant barriers to accessing a test and would not otherwise get tested. The Department of Health and Social Care is emailing all schools and colleges with details of how to access additional test kits. An order may be placed each month for a number of kits proportionate to the number of pupils or students at your school or college.
No one with symptoms should attend their nursery, school, college or university. If anyone in your early years setting, school or college confirms to you a positive test for Coronavirus (COVID-19), you should notify your local health protection team immediately. The health protection team will work with you to carry out a rapid risk assessment and identify the appropriate next steps.