Risk Assessment & Action Plan - COVID-19

December 2021

This Risk Assessment is a live document which will be continually updated in line with government guidance and the daily DFE (Department for Education) updates. Although the guidance now allows the dropping of nearly every restriction from 19th July 2021, we are very aware of the spread of the virus at this present time and so will be erring on the side of caution initially and keeping many of our procedures in place initially at the start of the academic year Sept 2021, until we know what is happening. This is to ensure that everyone feels safe within the working environment. Our outbreak management plan is that we can revert to any stage of the original risk assessment from last academic year as we know that these measures are tried and tested. We will inform PHE (Public Health England) Swindon and follow advice given from them.

Although this document will be our starting point for September 2021, we will still refer to the 2020/21 risk assessment where needed, should an outbreak* occur.

*An outbreak is defined by the DFE as ‘several confirmed cases of Covid (PCR positive test result) within 14 days of each other’. Contingency plans involve going back to the appropriate section on the risk assessment, either this one or the one from Sep 21 to manage risk – Email to all members of staff and committee sent 20th December to outline plans with updated risk assessment and current guidelines.

Updated information from SBC (Swindon Borough Council) and the DFE for September 2021 regarding the definition of an outbreak is:

For most settings it will make sense to think about taking extra action if the number of positive cases substantially increases. This is because it could indicate transmission is happening in the setting. We recommend that the thresholds, detailed below, be used by settings as an indication for when to seek public health advice if they are concerned. For most education and childcare settings, whichever of these thresholds is reached first:

• 5 children or staff, who are likely to have mixed closely, test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period; or

• 10% of children or staff who are likely to have mixed closely test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period   

 

When any of the above thresholds are reached, education and childcare settings should review and reinforce the testing, hygiene and ventilation measures they already have in place.

If we are concerned about transmission in our setting, advice is to seek public health advice.

For cases involving staff, we will first gain advice from PHE Swindon – it may well be that this procedure then needs to be followed. Employers should call the Self-Isolation Service Hub as soon as they are made aware that any of their workers have tested positive.

If cases amongst staff mean a setting meets the threshold, described above, employers will need to provide the 8-digit NHS Test and Trace Account ID (sometimes referred to as a CTAS number) of the person who tested positive, alongside the names of co-workers identified as close contacts. This will ensure that all workplace contacts are registered with NHS Test and Trace and can receive the necessary public health advice, including the support available to help people to self-isolate.

 

DFE update 29th November 2021 All individuals who have been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, irrespective of vaccination status and age, will be contacted directly and required to self-isolate immediately and asked to book a PCR test. They will be informed by the local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace if they fall into this category and provided details about self-isolation.

DFE update 14th Dec 2021. As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case and/or their parent to identify close contacts. Contacts from a setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case or their parent specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact. You may be contacted in exceptional cases to help with identifying close contacts, as currently happens in managing other infectious diseases. From 14 December 2021, adults who are fully vaccinated and all children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 are strongly advised to take a LF (Lateral Flow) test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result. Daily testing of close contacts applies to all contacts who are:

 

  • fully vaccinated adults – people who have had 2 doses of an approved vaccine

  • all children and young people aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, regardless of their vaccination status

  • people who are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

  • people taking part, or have taken part, in an approved clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine Children under 5 years are exempt from self-isolation and do not need to take part in daily testing of close contacts.

 

DFE update 16th Dec 2021. All education and childcare staff and students of secondary age and above continue to test, and importantly report those test results, twice-weekly

Schools and colleges to ask parents and other visitors to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test before attending a school or college event

 

We will continue to follow updated PHE Swindon and DFE guidelines at all stages.