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I take little, if any credit for making our special school as safe as it can possibly be for our children and young people. That credit rightly goes to our School Business Manager @LisaT_SBM. Lisa has worked tirelessly since the beginning of this pandemic interpreting the ever changing guidance and working with the local Health and Safety people to keep us safe in school.

This morning I tweeted that I wasn’t sure how Ofsted could be visiting schools without breaking bubbles or breaking risk assessments. The response from teachers in other schools was varied. Some haven’t been able to implement many safety measures due to old buildings and others are carrying on as normal and relying on social distancing.

I thought it might be useful to give a little run down of some of the things we have put in place to help keep our children and staff safe.

Each class is a bubble with core staff and others not entering the bubble.

Slightly staggered arrival times, 10 minutes apart for school transport. Children are entering at the side of the school to avoid groups in the corridors.

Teachers have the option of masks or visors and must do their best to maintain social distance.

Hand washing stations outside each classroom and all staff and children have named hand sanitiser.

Individual pencil cases containing own equipment to avoid sharing.

Hot lunches delivered to classrooms and family dining in classroom.

Closed staff room, hall now set up in in class table bubbles for class staff to have lunch and doubles for PPA space.

Each class bubble has their own part of the playground. Slightly staggered outdoor playtime.

As we are a special school we have a bathroom team who wear full PPE of masks, visors, gloves, aprons. All beds and equipment are thoroughly cleaned in between each use.

No parents allowed in school and no visitors unless absolutely vital. Hand washing station at entrance to school for everyone who does enter.

No whole school assembly or large groups for PE or music.

This is not an exhaustive list but it gives you a flavour of how hard we as a staff team are working to follow Lisa’s guidance and hopefully minimise the risk of an outbreak. Even our school dog Doodles has a new risk assessment for C-19.

Implementing all of the above is hard work but it’s worth it to have the children back in school where they belong. This week we have all loved hearing the sound of children laughing and playing and seeing them with their friends. Let’s hope we’ve got it right, we’ve certainly tried!