Schools and universities in the UK are exempt for the second lockdown meaning both students and staff are still attending school. Most staff in education or childcare settings are not required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) other than what they usually need for their work, even if not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others. PPE is only needed in a small number of cases if:
- An individual child becomes ill with COVID19 suspected symptoms and if a distance of two metres cannot be used
- A child has routine intimate care that involves the use of PPE.
Examples when headmasters may decide to recommend wearing face coverings include:
- If the layout of the school makes it difficult to maintain social distancing when staff and pupils are moving around the school
- If it would provide additional confidence to parents to support a full return of children to school
In order to facilitate pupils returning and staying in school it is important to implement certain measures including a requirement that people who are ill stay at home, this applies to pupils, teachers and all other staff members. Hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning and ventilation arrangements to be pushed throughout the school.
Social distancing and reduction of contact will be achieved through grouping certain year groups together and avoiding contact between groups, arranging all classrooms with forward facing desks, and staff maintaining distancing from the pupils and other staff members.