Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA), this guide from BSA, the association representing many of the leading UK boarding schools, shows the detailed approach the UK boarding schools are taking to protect students during the Covid period. Each school is able to then customise their response to ensure the particular needs of their school are fully covered.
This is another example of the effective response of UK boarding schools to the challenges all schools face.
Prior to reopening schools will
- Conduct all necessary cleaning of school indoor environments, including classrooms, bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms
- Decide on any regular testing procedures and advise pupils and parents accordingly. Support Covid-19 testing wherever possible
- Evaluate and adapt any medical procedures to ensure compliance with the recommendations of public health bodies
- Ensure that staff do not work (or have contact with pupils) if they have symptoms, have tested positive or have been in contact (within the last 14 days) with anyone who has
- Provide a suitable isolation area to care for pupils who show symptoms and/or test positive
- Train staff in the safe management of boarding houses under new guidance and school procedures and in Covid19 nursing for appropriate staff
- Advise parents, guardians and agents of the school’s policies on contact sports, trips and external matches, school assemblies and the provision of boarding during exeats and October half-term holiday.
Before departure from home
- Contact each pupil and their family, through their guardian if appropriate, to explain arrangements and answer any questions
- Provide written information on arrival procedures, including restrictions on parents entering the buildings
- For international pupils, confirm the arrangements for collecting the pupil from the point of arrival in the country, transport to school and quarantine procedures
- Provide each international pupil and parent with a letter on school-headed paper confirming those arrangements in line with sponsor requirements
- For international pupils, confirm the arrangements for collecting the pupil from the point of arrival in the country, transport to school and how any required quarantine procedures will be undertaken. Although some schools will wish to take charge of quarantine procedures themselves, other arrangements as agreed with parents, pupils and guardians are acceptable, as long as they comply with the relevant immigration guidance for the country concerned.
For international pupils upon arrival in the country
- Ensure the pupil is met by a named person, which could be a guardian, who is aware of, and follows, appropriate social distancing guidance
- Ensure that the named person wears a face covering at all times when in proximity to the student in enclosed areas, especially in vehicles unless screens are provided
- Ensure that the journey to school is direct, that the vehicle contains sanitiser and suitable wipes, and that any required toilet stops are conducted in accordance with relevant safety guidelines
- Depending on the length of journey, provide the student with suitable food and drink and ensure that packets, bottles and containers are sanitised before use.
For all pupils upon arrival at school
- Ensure all changes to routines and all new safety arrangements, which have been previously notified in writing, are fully explained to pupils, with full induction for any pupils new to the school
- Encourage the pupil to contact home shortly after arrival
- Explain the new fire evacuation procedures and conduct a drill soon after arrival
- Ensure the pupil has an opportunity to discuss their fears, worries and concerns with a trusted adult
- Require appropriate social distancing in all areas of school
- Guarantee availability of soap and disposable paper towels in all washing areas
- Require regular hand washing by pupils and staff
- Provide hand sanitiser1 stations at key points in the house and around the campus
- Provide pupils and staff with the opportunity to raise any concerns
- Ensure laundry procedures are clear and safe for staff and pupils
- Ensure appropriate PPE for any staff performing roles which will require it2
- Implement enhanced daily cleaning procedures in the boarding houses and school and ensure all relevant staff have appropriate PPE
- Allow pupils and staff to wear masks or face coverings (other than for activities where this is not advised) 3
- Display clear notices explaining new procedures
- Ensure safe occupancy levels of all facilities and areas, including classrooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms
- Explain clearly any measures required when pupils are allowed to leave site
- Ensure equipment is not shared between pupils, other than when appropriate cleaning has taken place
- Allocate appropriate recreation areas (inside and outside) for use by designated boarders and ensure they are aware of any new procedures and safe occupancy levels
- Where possible, conduct regular temperature checks of pupils, staff and visitors
- Be very clear that any bullying related to the pandemic will not be tolerated.