Covid 19 Response Plan
St Oliver Plunkett National School
This is a living
document and may be reviewed and amended to take into account new guidance from
www.dbei.ie , www.hse.ie,
or agreements with education partners as appropriate for primary and
The Board of Management acknowledges the difficulties involved in the opening of the school and wishes to reassure the school community that every effort is being made to make this process as safe as possible. The reopening is underpinned by the following considerations:
- Safety will be the first consideration at all times. This may mean that education will be challenging at times.
- Measures will be very restrictive in the beginning but the wish is that new procedures, that will lead to a more enriching environment for everyone, will be introduced over time when it is safe to do so.
- These measures will only be as strong as the weakest adherence to them. Parents, children and staff are all in a large community together and the safety of each individual will very much depend on the actions of each member of this community. Behaviour outside of school will impact the health of others when in school. Now, more than ever, we will be depending on each other.
- The community will come before the individual, measures that are introduced may not be to everyone’s taste but, since they are underpinned by the common good, no deviation from them will be allowed. Non-adherence will be considered a disciplinary issue and will be referred immediately to the Board of Management.
This Covid 19 Response Plan has been developed in line with public health advice issued by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) and in compliance with the “Return to Work Safely Protocols” developed by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Health with guidance documents provided by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).
It is the intention of The Board of Management of St Oliver Plunkett National School, in accordance with all relevant guidelines, to identify the steps that will be taken to minimise the risk of the introduction of COVID-19 into St Oliver Plunkett NS. It is, however, recognized that no interpersonal activity is without risk of transmission of infection at any time.
In addition to being a place of learning, St Oliver Plunkett NS is also place of work. The purpose of this document is to provide clear and helpful guidance for the prevention, early detection, and control of COVID-19 in school. This document provides key messages to minimise the risk of COVID-19 for staff, pupils, families and the wider community while recognising the importance of education for the health and wellbeing of pupils and society as a whole.
Planning and Preparing for a Return to School
Before reopening schools for the 2020/21 school year, the management of St Oliver Plunkett NS will have:
- planned 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.
- planned to pass on this information in a timely manner to staff, pupils, parents and others as required.
- 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
We have decided on a team instead of one individual. This Covid Team will consist of the Principal, Deputy Principal and Teacher Representative on the Board of Management. (Angela, Alison and Julie). An SNA will also be selected for this team.
posters and other signage to prevent introduction and spread of COVID-19
- made the necessary changes to the school and classroom layout to support the redesign of classrooms to support physical distancing.
- organised for the removal of unnecessary clutter to facilitate ongoing cleaning of the school considering 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
- provided induction training.
63 pupils (33 new)
7 mainstream class teachers
1 administrative principal
1 cleaning company (now 3 hours per day and a commitment that, as far as is possible, the same staff will clean the school every day)
For the purposes of this document the “old” part of the school is Rooms 2 to 5 inclusive and the “new” part is Room 6, 7, the staff room, library and hall. Room 1 and the secretary’s office are in the “extension”
Classes vary in size from 46 sq. metres (Room 3) to 63 sq. metres (Room 7)
There are toilets in rooms 1, 6 and 7. There are sinks in all of the classrooms. There are two toilet blocks with 3 cubicles each on the old corridor and 2 individual toilets located in the hall.
There is no on-site parking for parents/guardians and very limited and cramped parking for staff. This parking blocks the gate at times.
There is no room for parents who bring their children to school to gather safely outside the school.
There are no dedicated toilets for all classrooms
There is no outside access door in each classroom
The staffroom/kitchen is very small.
The majority of the children travel to school on 4 different bus/taxi routes. The guidelines around safety on school transport is not at all reassuring at this time. This is one of our biggest challenges and the safety of our bus escorts is a priority. Each escort will be provided with PPE and we have decided that children will be obliged to wear masks on the school buses and are watching daily developments on this.
Children will be anxious, parents will be anxious and staff will be too.
Because of the volatility of the national situation, the school will need to prepare for shutdown as soon as it opens.
School will re-open for all NEW pupils on Monday, August 31st, 2020. The school will open for all pupils on Tuesday, September 1st. Both of these days will be ½ days. Normal school hours will resume on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020. From September 2nd school will open at 9.00 and close at 2.40.
The School Day
Arrival/Entry into the building
At the moment the official position is to fill the buses as normal with no allowance for social distancing. Obviously, this could/will change.
Bus Escorts have an issue with one bus company as bus hygiene and cleanliness leave a lot to be desired. This is an ongoing issue. The principal has spoken to the school bus inspector about it. The bus company in question have been reminded of their responsibilities and if these is an issue in September, the inspector will be contacted and he will inspect the bus. We will advise parents that the bus may not be up to standard.
It will not be possible for parents/guardians to come on to the school grounds or into the school building at any time of the day.
Children, or parents, were never allowed onto the school grounds before 9.00 and this will remain the case. On no account will anyone be allowed to congregate outside the gates.
All staff will need to be on the premises no later than 8.50. This will be essential to ensure safe entry of all children. Parents are asked to wait at a safe distance outside the school, preferably by parking safely and walking their child to the pavement outside. Social distancing will be essential at this point. No parking will be allowed close to the entry to the lane and this will be strictly enforced. This is to ensure that there is an open space to allow children to enter safely. There will be no parking before the gate on either side.
The principal and SNAs will meet the children (one by one) and direct them safely to their designated line where their teacher will be waiting. These lines will be stencilled onto the tarmac in line with social distancing. Teachers will wait at the head of the line.
Children will start to be admitted from 9.00am. It is envisaged that this will be very slow at the beginning as it will be important to get it right and because the new children will need extra time. Lines will be clearly marked with “feet” stencils and room number.
Temperatures will not be taken every day but an infrared thermometer has been purchased for use in school.
Children will be brought into the building through the designated doors. They will sanitize their hands before they enter the building.
All staff will wear masks and/or visors. These are, however, useless unless used properly.
Very confused national messaging is coming through on children wearing masks. At the moment, they are not mandatory for our students but can be worn if parents feel that it is safer. Your child will need to be educated in the proper use of a mask, and you will need to provide them. We will have a small store of child-sized masks.
In advance of the school reopening, the Principal, Deputy Principal and chairperson of the BOM will meet with the parents of the children in a Zoom meeting. This document will be available on the school, website from Wednesday, August 26th.
Children will enter the building in the following manner:
Rooms 1 and 2 will enter through the main door
Rooms 3 and 4 will enter through the Red Door.
Room 5 will enter through the yard door.
Room 6 will enter through their fire door
Room 7 will enter through their fire door.
The children will sanitise their hands before entering the building.
Physical distancing can be usefully applied in primary settings allowing for some flexibility when needed. It must be applied in a practical way.
A clear area around the teacher and SNA desk will be marked to ensure that a 2 m area of social distancing is maintained. Children will not cross this area unless they are invited to do so.
Maintaining physical distancing in the school environment is recommended as one of the key control measures to minimize the risk of the introduction and spread of COVID-19
The DES guidelines recognise that a common-sense approach is needed in our Primary schools. To that end, every effort will be made to limit interactions within classrooms, to limit contact between class groups and to limit the sharing of common facilities.
Staff will maintain a minimum of 1m distance and where possible 2m. They will also take measures to avoid close contact at face to face level such as remaining standing rather than sitting beside/crouching down.
Each class in St Oliver Plunkett has 9 pupils, a teacher and, in 5 classrooms, an SNA. The children and their teacher and SNA constitute a “Bubble”. A Bubble is a grouping which stays apart from other classes as much as possible. The aim of the system within the school is that Bubbles stay together from arrival at school in the morning until the children go home at the end of the day.
It is a requirement from the DOES that all unnecessary clutter and furniture is removed from classrooms to facilitate as much distancing as is possible.
Children will be distanced from each other by at least 1 metre (2 if possible in the size of the room) and the nearest child will be 2 metres from the teacher.
Perspex screens have been provided for all staff.
Doors and windows
Where practical, all internal doors will be left open to minimize hand contact with common surfaces. Doors will be opened before the children enter the building and sanitised after they are in. Doors will be open during the day to ensure that classrooms are well ventilated, Windows will also be kept open as often as possible, and will be opened while children are taking breaks in the playground. All windows will be opened at the end of the day for a period of several hours regardless of the weather.
Cloakrooms and toilets and handwashing
Specific toilets have been assigned to each Bubble. Rooms 1, 6 and 7 have toilets in the class. Whichever toilets are being used, only one child will be in each toilet at a time and children will not be allowed to wait outside these toilets. The outer door will be propped open to minimize hand contact. Children will learn how to sanitize the door handles and the flush handle after using the toilet.
Room 2 will use the upper toilets on the old corridor. The middle cubicle will be locked. The children will not be allowed to wait in the toilet area or in the corridor.
Room 4 will use the toilet block at the end of the old corridor. The children will not be allowed to wait in the toilet or in the corridor.
Room 5 will use the main staff toilet by the staffroom.
The hall toilets will become the staff toilets
Whatever option is chosen, individual hygiene in these toilets will be absolutely critical.
Additional soap dispensers have been installed in the classrooms. Hot water was not deemed to be necessary but it is something we will be considering before the winter months.
There will be 6 formal handwashing times every day*
1 when children enter the class (they will have sanitised but will need to handwash too)*
2 Before eating at little break*
3 After little break*
4 Before eating at big break*
5 After eating at big break*
7 After using the toilet.
8 When hands are dirty
9 Before going home *
The Covid team will monitor this by checking in with classes in the early days.
A formal record of this process will be kept until it becomes a habit.
Parents may wish to send their own sanitiser in for their child. This will be allowed but this sanitiser must be in a spill proof bottle and must not be shared with other children.
The DES guidelines state that the risk of transmission from contact with outside surfaces or play areas is low.
There will be 2 “big” and 2 “little” breaks in September, small break 1 will be from 10.50 to 11.00 (children eat from 10 35 -10 45) and small break 2 will be from 11.05 to 11.15 (children will eat from 10 50 to 11.00). Big break 1 will be from 12.30 to 1.00 and break 2 from 1.05 to 1.35. Rooms 1, 3 5 and 7 will go out together and Rooms 2, 4 and 6. This is to facilitate lining up in that yard. These can be rotated (i.e. the classes can go out on early break for a while and then go out on later break) but the classes groupings will not be changing. It will be important to keep this manageable and we can tweak it over time. The children will not mix on yard as each Bubble will have an area in the yard and that area will be rotated every few weeks. The children will go out and back in to class through the doors that they entered the school except for rooms 4 and 5 who will return through the yard door.
In September there will be no equipment of any kind in the yard but it is envisaged that, once the children are used to their very new routines, we could slowly introduce a sanitizing system so that some equipment, such as footballs, could be used.
The playground will be used (on a rota and by one Bubble only) on Tuesdays and Fridays. This is to allow the equipment time to self-sanitize as cleaning it properly would be impossible.
On very wet days SNAs can supervise a maximum of five rooms at breaktime, and could keep an eye on one class next door if needed. The class can be left 100% seated with a movie only and the door open. Children will be going outside unless the weather is truly awful.
Parents must make sure that children bring their lunches to school as they will not be allowed to drop them in during the school day. Children will not be allowed to share their food or drinks with other children. Children will eat their lunches at their desks, as per our usual practice. They will be encouraged to eat directly from their lunchbox rather than placing items on the table.
Parents will be encouraged to sanitise the lunchbox each evening.
Books, copies, pencils etc
Children will not bring these to school as they will be in the classroom for them and all items will be kept separate in baskets or cubicles.
Pupils will be encouraged to avoid behaviours that involve hand to mouth contact (putting pens/pencils in the mouth).
There is no guidance or advice to say that school uniforms or tracksuits should be washed every day and this may not be practical for most families. However, parents will be asked to ensure that uniforms are washed more often than usual and if they are not dry there will be no issue if they wear ordinary clothes to school.
We will request that children have a set of waterproof clothing that they leave in school since they will be going out every day unless the weather is extreme.
Parents have been requested to provide warm clothes for their children since the school will be a lot cooler than normal.
Parents will be advised that school clothes should be taken off straight after the child arrives home from school for the day. They should not be worn for after-school facilities, shops, during after-school activities, etc.
It is not envisaged that the children will be able to hang their coats near each other so some of them will need to be kept on the back of the chairs until we get around to sorting more hooks. Coats will stay in the classrooms.
Parents will be encouraged to send in shoes with no laces, lunchboxes and flasks that can be opened by the child and coats that are easy to tie.
As a staff, we are very aware that the children have been away from school since March 12th. Half of our children are new to our school. School habits have been lost and a new, strict routine will be very tiring and challenging after being at home for months. We appreciate the time and effort that went into home learning, and we recognise the challenges that it presented for all families but we are also aware that the task of settling the children into school cannot be underestimated. A large amount of patience, kindness and understanding will be needed from everyone. It is likely to be most difficult for the children entering their second year as the change will be quite dramatic for them.
The DOES have suggested that all emphasis should be on Literacy, Numeracy, PE and SPHE for the first term of the school year.
Because we will be preparing for shut down from the day we open, and we could lose children and staff to self-isolation at any time, we will be working on as much blended learning as possible so that the children can continue on easily at home.
Some of the children will need to be tested in Literacy as there was some turnover of children over the summer and we do not have a starting literacy level for some of the new children. There is a possibility that there will be more of a discrepancy than normal in the literacy levels of the children in each class. Children will not be regrouped for Maths this year.
Shared textbooks will need to be wiped with antiseptic wipes after use. Any concrete maths materials that are used will need to be sanitised after use.
We will explore the use of Bug Club for structured reading in school and at home.
We will explore an online Maths learning programme that the children can continue on with when/if we shut down again.
Anxiety could be a very large issue in the children so it is envisaged that there will be a lot of work needed with the children on this. The introduction of all the protocols including regular handwashing, lining up and limited social interaction in the classes will take an enormous amount of time.
There are lovely materials available through NEPS “Returning to School after Covid 19 Closure”.
Children are encouraged to be out in the air as often as possible, especially in the better months of the term. The school garden needs loads of work! Loads of exercise (in each individual Bubble, will be wonderful)
Children will not go swimming for the foreseeable future. Mini Movers will be cancelled. We will explore this later in the year.
It is envisaged that there will be no homework for at least the first month. This is because the children will not be encouraged to bring anything (other than a lunchbox and a coat) between school and home.
Notes will not be sent home, homework journals will not be used and parents will be communicated with by e mail.
Where possible pupils will be encouraged to have their own individual art and equipment supplies.
For the moment there should be no group art projects, no cooking or activities that involve the children working closely together. Children cannot share equipment in the classroom for the start of the school year until we get a tight system in place.
There will be no physical assembly of the children and staff but the idea of a virtual assembly will be explored.
Any staff member who uses the photocopier should clean it down after use with the wipes provided. Only one person at a time in the photocopying room.
There should not be used at the start of the year but we will consider safety around them, and their eventual use, later in the term.
A copy of the Covid-19 Response Plan will be provided to each substitute teacher/SNA. Substitutes will be required to complete a Return to the Workplace form before they enter a classroom and will be asked to confirm that they have engaged in online Induction training.
A list of available substitutes has been created. These will all need to be garda vetted.
All SNAs will be replaced for all absences.
The Deputy Principal is allowed 16 release days. These are substitutable.
Physical Education and P.E. Equipment
Physical Education lessons will take place outside when the weather allows. The hall cannot be used.
Staff members and pupils may take additional breaks outside during the school day.
Exiting the school
This will be entry to the school in reverse. Children will be brought to their line and supervised by their teacher. They will slowly be released out the gate (both sides will be open)
Since this will be a slower process than normal, pupils will gather in their lines from 2.30 and will be released over a period of time. We may even have to start a bit earlier for the first few days but when we get it going it will be faster.
All staff will be asked to fully vacate the building by 3.30pm to facilitate full ventilation and cleaning of the building. This will be recorded by the Covid team.
Cleaners will not start enter to start work until staff are gone home. This is because the cleaning staff may have been in other work environments before coming to the school.
Staff (some general points)
Because our children come from a wide catchment area and a lot travel to school on school transport, school staff will be required to wear a mask and an optional visor.
Online training videos have been sent to staff. These are mandatory viewing.
The staffroom and hall will be available to staff but no more than 4 can be seated at any one time. Remember that a distance of 2 meters is recommended for adults. The tables will be turned sideways so someone can sit at each end.
Anyone that wants a kettle for their room is urged to buy one and the cost will be refunded by the Board of Management.
No one will be allowed to use the crockery or cutlery in the staffroom (for the moment) as all staff must provide their own and bring them home to be cleaned.
The dishwasher will not be in use.
Staff CANNOT visit each other’s classrooms at any time for any reason.
All staff will be offered the flu vaccine.
A box of basic PPE and other equipment will be provided for staff before school starts.
Staff will be asked NOT to bring home any school material with them, that included children’s work.
It will be suggested that, if possible, staff have a type of “uniform” for the school day and to change straight after arriving home.
Staff should maintain a distance of 2 meters at all times especially when arriving at and leaving work.
Gloves are available for staff but should be used carefully and should never be a substitute for hand washing.
Staff have a statutory obligation to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of their colleagues and other parties. The cooperation and assistance of all staff is essential to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 and to protect health and safety as far as possible within the school. All staff have a key role to play. In this regard and in order to facilitate a safe return to work, these duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Adhere to the School COVID-19 Response Plan and the control measures
- Complete the RTW form before they return to
- Must inform the principal if there are any other circumstances relating to COVID19, not included in the form, which may need to be disclosed to facilitate their safe return to the workplace.
- Must complete COVID-19 Induction Training and any other training required prior to their return to school.
- Must be aware of, and adhere to, good hygiene and respiratory etiquette practices.
- Coordinate and work with their colleagues to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.
- Make themselves aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 and monitor their own wellbeing.
- Self-isolate at home and contact their GP promptly for further advice if they display any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Not return to or attend school if they have symptoms of COVID-19 under any circumstances.
- If they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 whilst within the school facility, they will adhere to the procedure outlined above.
· After entering the school, a person must use the hand sanitiser placed at
the front door.
· On leaving the building, staff must use wipes to wipe down the handle and are to use elbows to push open and close the door.
· Used wipes to be placed in a special bin inside the door.
· All staff must adhere to social distancing rules- keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people.
· If returning equipment to a staff member said equipment should be wiped down before handover.
· Staff are advised to remain in their own rooms to carry out any work they wish to. Movement throughout the school is to be kept to a minimum.
· Doors are to remain open at all times so that you do not touch door handles. Windows should also be opened to allow ventilation.
· Only four staff are allowed in the staffroom at any one time.
· While in the staffroom staff should use their own cup and cutlery. They
are to bring these home to wahs
· Staff are to use hand sanitisers before using any equipment or touching
any handles etc.
· Staff are to wipe down their eating area with sanitiser.
· Staff must maintain the two meter distance if you are queueing up to use the hot water/fridge or microwave etc.
· Maintain distance if using the photocopier. Each person must wipe it down
with sanitiser after using.
As part of social distancing there is a ‘no handshaking policy’
· avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose
or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface.
All large meetings will take place remotely but some smaller meetings (among staff) may be facilitatedin the school.
All meetings with people other than staff will be done remotely for the moment.
Children will not travel through the school for any reason other than going in and out and going to the toilet.
Parents will be encouraged to e mail Janette with queries rather than clogging up the phone.
St Oliver Plunkett NS will display signage, ordered specifically, with age appropriate key health messages outlining the signs and symptoms of COVID- 19 and to support good hand and respiratory hygiene.
St Oliver Plunkett NS will display the posters in prominent areas such as offices, corridors, staffroom area, classrooms and toilets.
Health and Safety Risk Assessment
COVID-19 represents a hazard in the context of health and safety in the school environment. Members of the Board of St Oliver Plunkett NS will conduct a full risk assessment before the school opens and any necessary changes will be made before August 31st.
First Aid/Emergency Procedure
The standard First Aid/emergency procedure shall continue to apply in schools. Physical distancing may be very difficult to maintain at this time so goggles and aprons have been purchased to ensure safety. These can be used by staff at any time.
First aid supplies will be redistributed so that there is a small supply in each room and each individual teacher/SNA is responsible for their own Bubble. This will limit possible cross contamination.
Control Measures – To prevent Introduction and Spread of COVID-19 in Schools
Access to School/Contact Log and Communication
Access to the school building will be in line with agreed school procedures.
Visitors will be restricted to essential purposes only and will be limited to those who have obtained prior approval from the principal or deputy principal.
The Department of Education Inspectorate may also need to visit schools to support them as appropriate in the implementation of public health advice relating to creating a safe learning and working environment
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. This is a vital step in the control of the virus.
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; student-student, teacher-teacher and teacher-student and must be managed in all settings for all.
How to Minimise the Risk of Introduction of COVID-19 into Schools:
- Probably the most important point is that staff will now have a responsibility to behave in accordance with the national regulations while not in work. Any setting that is deemed to be unsafe carries a risk of infecting an entire school community.
- Staff and pupils that have symptoms must
not attend school, must phone their doctor and to follow HSE guidance on self-isolation.
- Staff and pupils must not attend school if they have been identified by the HSE as a contact for person with COVID-19 and must follow the HSE advice on restriction of movement;
- A child who has allergies, or a condition with symptoms that may be similar to Covid 19, will have to have a doctor’s note explaining these symptoms and advice on how to recognise the symptoms of Covid 19 should they arise.
- Staff and pupils that develop symptoms at school must bring this to the attention of a member of the Covid team immediately.
- A protocol for managing a suspected case of COVID-19 in in place for the school. Put simply, a child will be escorted to the isolation room (library) and will be collected as soon as possible. Staff will contact their doctor and isolate themselves in the school immediately.
- Everyone entering the school building needs to perform hand hygiene with a hand sanitizer. They will then be encouraged to sanitise before leaving.
- Staff are requested NOT to leave the school during the school day for any reason other than an emergency.
- Visitors to the school during the day will be by prior arrangement and will be received at a specific contact point;
- Physical distancing (of 2m) will be maintained between staff and visitors where possible.
- There will be no volunteers, work placements, visiting sports coaches, music teachers, school trips, visiting authors or other visitors until further notice. We will however, explore the reintroduction of as many of these vital parts of school life as soon as possible. So much will depend on the success of our initial procedures and, of course, the evolving nationwide picture.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. Children will need to be taught this clearly and explicitly. 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.
- Staff and pupils will understand why hand hygiene is important as well as when and how to wash their hands. The school will promote good hygiene and display posters throughout the schools on how to wash your hands. The following should be explicitly taught to the children. https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/how-to-wash-your-hands.html
· Staff will need to Know the Symptoms of COVID-19 and children will need to be taught them. They are
- High temperature
- Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
- Loss of smell, of taste or distortion of taste
Hygiene and Cleaning in Schools
The school will be cleaned for 3 hours every day. Cleaning will be focus on the sanitation of 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 personal work area. These cleaning products and PPE will be stored in the Principal’s office.
Staff will be required to thoroughly clean and disinfect their work area before and after use each day.
A hygiene committee, with a child from each class, will be formed.
Children will need to be shown how to clean their own desk area every day. They will also need to learn to sweep up as all the official cleaning time will be focused on disinfecting and sterilization of common areas.
The “dirty” bins will be covered bins and will be emptied every day. Recycling bins will be treated as normal.
Dealing with a Suspected Case of COVID-19
Staff or pupils will not attend school if displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. The following outlines how a school will deal with a suspected case that may arise in a school setting.
The designated isolation area is the school library in the school building If a staff member/pupil displays symptoms of COVID-19 while at school the following are the procedures to be implemented
- If the person with the suspected case is a pupil, the parents/guardians will be contacted immediately.
- Parents will have given a written assurance that an adult will be available to collect their child immediately.
- A procedure will be in place to accompany the individual to the designated isolation area via the isolation route, keeping at least 2m away from the symptomatic person and also making sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2m from the symptomatic person at all times. Once the parent arrives to the gate the child will be escorted to the gate to be brought home. They will exit by their usual route.
- Nobody will stay in the isolation with the person who is deemed to be at risk.
- If it is not possible to maintain a distance of 2m a staff member caring for a pupil will wear a face covering or mask/goggles and an apron.
- A mask will be provided for the person presenting with symptoms. He/she will wear the mask at all times.
- No medical decisions will be made by staff. Symptoms means that the HSE will be contacted, the individual will be isolated and will exit the building as soon as possible.
- Parents will be informed that there will have to be someone available to come and collect their child as soon as they are notified.
- The individual will avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. Advice will be given to the person presenting with symptoms to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided.
- Public transport of any kind will not be used;
- If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick person is a Covid-19 suspect.
- Careful records will need to be kept of each isolation incident.
- 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 will be followed and staff and pupil confidentiality is essential at all times.
- Cleaning/Disinfecting rooms where a pupil/staff member with suspected COVID- 19 was present. The room will be cleaned as soon as practicably possible. Once the room is vacated the room will not be reused until it has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry.
Special Educational Needs
Additional considerations for those with Special Educational Needs that are relevant to our cohort of children.
- The focus will be on emphasising that parents/guardians who notice signs, symptoms or changes which suggests illness/COVID-19 infection and where symptoms are present, their children will not attend school.
- Children who are unable to wash their hands by themselves will be assisted to clean their hands using soap and water or a hand sanitizer (if their hands are visibly clean) as outlined previously.
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. All absences will be entered on the OLCS system
Substitute cover will be provided for 1 EPV day to be taken in the first term. No decision has been made about the other 2 days. It is generally agreed that no more than 3 days will be possible this year. There is also a suggestion that those who have 5 days can carry 2 over into 21/22.
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’.
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.
Lead Worker Representative
The COVID-19 Return to Work Safely 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 COVID-19 Return to 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).
Responsibility for the development and implementation of the COVID-19 Response Plan and the associated 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 students. Adherence to the Return to Work 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.
Role of the Lead Worker Representative/Covid 19 Response Team
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 Return to Work Safely Protocol and current public health advice;
• In conjunction with school management, monitor adherence to 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.
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
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
Staff awareness around hand hygiene in the school
Personal Protective Equipment
At Risk Groups
Lead Worker Representative
Every school will appoint one Lead Worker Representative.
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
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
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 Return to Work Safely Protocol and current public health advice;
In conjunction with school management, monitor adherence to 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.
Every school will appoint one 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
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 [further detail to be provided];
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 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 Return to Work Safely Protocol, the Department of Education plan for school reopening and 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.
Return to Work 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.
Checklist Lead Worker Representative
1. Have you agreed with your school to act as a Lead worker representative for your school? (
2. Have you been provided with information and training in relation to the role of lead worker representative?
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? (
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?
11. Did your school consult with you when putting control measures in place?
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?
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?
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?
Arrangements for people who are diagnosed who have symptoms of Covid 19
Bring the person to the designated isolation area available in each school;
Arrangements to contact parents/guardians in the event of a suspected case in a pupil/student;
Facilitate the person remaining in isolation if they cannot go home immediately;
Supporting the making of arrangements for transport home or if they are too unwell to go home to contact 999 or 112 to advise it is a COVID-19 suspected case;
Carrying out an assessment of the incident to determine follow up actions; and
Arrangements for the appropriate cleaning of the isolation and work areas.
inform any staff/parents or students who come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process;
contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID-19 is made; and
advise on the appropriate action, on a case-by-case basis, that should be taken vis-à-vis the operation of the school.
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 responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the protocol to deal with suspected cases have been adhered to.
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)
Isolating a Person
7. Are procedures in place to accompany the infected person to the isolation area, along the isolation route with physical distancing from them?
8. Are staff familiar with this procedure?
9. Have others been advised to maintain a distance of at least 2m from the affected person at all times?
10. 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
11. Staff – have you established by asking them if the staff members feel well enough to travel home?
12. 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.
13. The affected person should be advised to avoid touching other people, surfaces and objects.
14. 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.
15. Has transport home or to an assessment centre been arranged if the affected person has been directed to go there by their GP?
16. Has the affected person been advised not to go to their GP’s surgery or any pharmacy or hospital?
17. Has the affected person been advised they must not use public transport?
18. Has the affected person been advised to continue wearing the face mask until the reach home?
19. Have you carried out an assessment of the incident to identify any follow-up actions needed?
20. Are you available to provide advice and assistance if contacted by the HSE?
21. Have you taken the isolation area out-of-use until cleaned and disinfected?
22. Have you made arrangements to clean and disinfect any classroom space where the staff or pupils were located?
23. 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?
24. Have the cleaners been trained in dealing with contaminated areas and supplied with the appropriate PPE? (It is intended to provide online training for cleaning staff. Appropriate PPE will be available to schools through the national procurement process which schools can access before reopening).
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 to staff and pupils and to adjust your plans and procedures in line with that advice?
2. Have you prepared a school COVID-19 response plan and made it available to staff and pupils?
3. 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?
4. Have you displayed the COVID-19 posters in suitable locations highlighting the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
5. Have you told staff of the purpose of the COVID-19 contact log?
6. Have you a COVID-19 contact log in place to support HSE tracing efforts if required?
7. Have you informed staff on the measures and provided a system for them to raise issues or concerns and to have them responded to?
8. 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?
9. Have you updated emergency plans, if necessary to take account of the COVID-19 response plan?
10. Have you made available to each staff member a COVID-19 return-to-work form to be completed and returned 3 days before they return to the workplace? (Template attached)
11. 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?
12. Have you advised staff and pupils they must stay at home if sick or if they have any symptoms of COVID-19?
13. 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?
14. Have you advised staff of the availability of the supports of the occupational health and wellbeing programme through Spectrum Life?
15. 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
16. Have you advised staff to view the Department of Education’s training materials which are available online?
17. 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?
18. Have first aiders, if available, been given updated training on infection prevention and control re: hand hygiene and use of PPE as appropriate? (It is intended that training will be provided as part of the Department’s online training programme).
Buildings / Equipment
19. If you have mechanical ventilation does it need cleaning or maintenance before the school reopens?
20. Does your water system need flushing at outlets following low usage to prevent Legionnaire’s Disease?
21. Have you visually checked, or had someone check, all equipment in the school for signs of deterioration or damage before being used again?
22. Have you arranged for the school, including all equipment, desks, benches, doors and frequent touched surfaces points, to be cleaned before reopening?
Control Measures in place
Hand / respiratory hygiene
23. Have you accessed supplies of hand sanitisers and any necessary PPE equipment in line with the interim HPSC health guidance relating to the reopening of schools, from the national framework provided by the Department? (RFI published and framework available from early August).
24. 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?
25. Have arrangements been made for staff and pupils to have regular access to hand-washing/hand sanitising facilities as appropriate?
26. 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?
27. Have you made arrangements to ensure hand hygiene facilities are regularly checked and well-stocked?
28. Does the alcohol-based hand sanitiser have at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient?
29. Have you informed staff about the importance of hand washing?
30. 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?
31. Have you shown staff and pupils how to use hand sanitiser correctly and where hand-sanitising stations are located?
32. Have you displayed posters on how to wash hands correctly in appropriate locations?
33. Have you told staff and pupils when they need to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser? This includes:
before and after eating and preparing food
after coughing or sneezing
after using the toilet
where hands are dirty
before and after wearing gloves
before and after being on public transport
before leaving home
when arriving/leaving the school /other sites
after touching potentially contaminated surfaces
if in contact with someone displaying any COVID-19 symptoms
34. Has you told staff and pupils of the importance of good respiratory measures to limit the spread of the virus?
avoid touching the face, eyes, nose and mouth
cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue
dispose of tissues in a covered bin
35. Have you identified all available school space to be used to maximise physical distancing?
36. 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?
37. Have you arranged to revise the layout of the rooms and furniture as per the Department guidelines if necessary?
38. Have you arranged in each room that the teacher’s desk should be at least 1m and where possible 2m away from pupil desks?
39. Have you arranged in each room that pupils would be at least 1m away from each other?
40. Have you allocated work stations consistently to the same staff and children rather than having spaces that are shared?
41. 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?
42. 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?
43. 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?
44. Have you arranged Pod sizes to be as small as it is likely to be reasonably practical in the specific classroom context?
45. 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?
46. Have you arranged where possible that different class bubbles to have separate breaks and meal times or separate areas at break or meal times?
47. Have you made arrangements to limit interaction on arrival and departure from school and in other shared areas?
48. Have you encouraged walking or cycling to school as much as possible?
49. Have you made arrangements, in so far as practicable, to open additional access points to school to reduce congestion?
50. Can you provide a one system for entering and exiting the school, where practical?
51. Have you arranged for staff meetings to be held remotely or in small groups or in large spaces to facilitate physical distancing?
52. Have you a system to regularly remind staff and pupils to maintain physical distancing
53. Have you advised staff not to shake hands and to avoid any physical contact?
Visitors to Schools
54. 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?
55. Are there arrangements in place to inform essential visitors to the school of the measures to help prevent the spread of infection?
56. 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?
|Contact Tracing Log Name of School||School Contact Person|
|Address of School||For Queries only: Phone No|
|Name of Visitor||Was the visit pre-arranged? Yes o No o|
|Date of Visit||__ __ / __ __ /________||Time||entry/exit school||Exit from School __________ am o pm o|
|Visitor Status||Contractor ||Parent/Guardian ||Other o Please complete: _______________________________________|
|Contact details of visitor||Company Name (if applicable)|
|Contact No.||Email Address|
|Reason for Visit/Who visited and length of time.|
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:
Items and areas to be cleaned
Frequency of cleaning
Materials to be used
Equipment to be used?
14. Details of how to clean following a suspected case of COVID-19 are at Section 7 of the Plan above
15. If disinfection of contaminated surfaces is required, is a system in place to do this following cleaning?
16. 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?
17. Have you a system in place for the disposable of cleaning cloths and used wipes in a rubbish bag? Current HSE guidance recommends waste such as cleaning waste, tissues etc. from a person suspected of having COVID-19 should be double bagged and stored in a secure area for 72 hours before being presented for general waste collection.
18. 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?
19. 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?
Protocol for the return to work
returning to the workplace, the staff must complete *a pre-return to
workplace form *at least 3 days in advance of the return.
This form seeks confirmation that each staff member, to the best of their
– has no symptoms of COVID-19,
-that the staff member is not self-isolating,
or is not awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
If a staff member answers “Yes” to any of them, you are strongly advised to
follow the medical advice
Sample Return to School Form
Do you have symptoms of cough, fever, high temperature, sore throat, runny
nose, breathlessness or flu like symptoms now or in the past 14 days? Yes/No
Have you been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection in
the last 14 days? Yes/No
Are you a close contact of a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of
COVID-19 in the past 14 days (i.e. less than 2m for more than 15 minutes accumulative in 1 day)? Yes/No
Have you been advised by a doctor to self-isolate at this time? Yes/No
Are there are any other circumstances relating to COVID-19, not included in
the form, which may need to be disclosed to allow their safe return to work.
Please complete and return the pre-return to work form before you return to
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, you are advised to seek medical advice
and to stay out of work
until all symptoms have cleared following self-isolation.
Safety on the buses
Observing hygiene requirements will be a key priority and clear communication to all parents of children or to older students using school transport services will set out the following requirements for those travelling on school transport:
Not to use school transport if they are displaying symptoms.
To maintain physical distancing while waiting for transport.
To always sit in pre-assigned seating and next to a sibling or child from their class group (this should be the same child at all times).
To use hand sanitizer on boarding the bus.
To observe respiratory etiquette at all times while waiting for and on-board transport services.
To disembark the bus one by one in an orderly fashion; and
With the exception of those children who for medical or special educational needs reasons are not in a position to wear a facemask or face covering, all other students travelling on the post-primary scheme are required to wear facemasks while waiting for and on-board transport services.
With regard to SEN Transport services, these health guidelines will also apply. Funding supports will be made available to schools for the provision of masks or visors to School Bus Escorts where required, bearing in mind the SEN needs of the child/children on the service, and where physical distancing cannot be maintained. These will be accessible to schools through the drawdown framework described earlier.
Bus Éireann, in consultation with the Department, is providing information and guidance for their own employees and to contractors contracted to operate on the School Transport Scheme to advise them of:
• Sanitisation and additional cleaning requirements.
• Use of Personal Protective Equipment for school transport staff.
• Measures to take if a child on a service becomes ill or is displaying symptoms while travelling.
• Return to work safely protocols.
St Oliver Plunkett National School COVID-19 Policy Statement
St Oliver Plunkett National School 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 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 from staff is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.
This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s)/Covid team, who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.