Covid-19 Risk Assessment
Schools General Risk Assessment – Covid-19 - Nov 2021
This generic risk assessment should be adapted by our schools and VLC’s to make specific to their individual site(s), circumstances, and pupils. It should be completed in conjunction with reference to the latest government guidance including
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/schools- covid-19 operational-guidance
and share the results with staff and if possible, publish on their website to provide transparency for parents, carers, and pupils
Date of Assessment:
Assessed by: John Clark
Review date: This risk assessment will be frequently and dynamically reviewed going forward, as the government advice and local staffing levels change or whether the controls are effective and working as planned. As of December 2021
What is the task, activity, person, or environment you are assessing?
Coronavirus effects within school, following government guidance the latest update being 17th Aug. This assessment will be regularly monitored for any changes or updates as they are released.
Announced on the 27th Nov 21 temporary introduction of new measures following a new Covid Variant Omicron, these will be added in brown for ease of identifying changes.
What hazards are present or may be generated?
Who might be harmed by the hazards and how?
What control measures/ precautions are in place to eliminate or reduce the risk?
Is the residual risk acceptable?
If no to the previous question, what additional control measures/ precautions are needed to manage the risk?
Additional control measures implemented:
Action by whom?
Action by when?
Contamination/ spread of Coronavirus (surfaces)
Staff, pupils, contractors’ visitors
Virus spread in water droplets that are expelled from the body through sneezing, coughing, talking, and breathing. These land on surfaces, as well as being transferred to the hands and from there to surfaces. It can survive on surfaces for a period after transfer.
Regular cleaning (twice per day) of frequently touched surfaces within the school, such as doors, chairs, desks, bannisters, sinks, toilets, light switches, gates, external railings etc.
Discussions had with cleaning staff/ contractors/ suppliers to ensure effective cleaning schedule in place, and increase in stock demand etc. COSHH assessments are reviewed where required e.g., change in product.
Where cleaning tasks are given to staff that don’t normally carry out these duties as part of their role, they are given adequate instruction/ training and any required PPE e.g., gloves. Consideration given to selection of cleaning products and less hazardous substances (e.g. those that don’t fall under the COSHH Regulations) chosen wherever possible.
Further guidance can be found on the link below from Public Health England:
Contamination / spread of Coronavirus (person to person)
Staff to continue to test with a Lateral Flow Device (LFD’S) twice a week at home.
Good personal hygiene continued to be promoted:
Additional teaching on handwashing provided and regular reminding of good hygiene practices and pupils understand this is now part of how the school operates.
Sufficient handwashing facilities available. In addition, in areas where there isn’t a sink within the immediate vicinity, e.g., in entrances/ exits, classrooms and other learning environments, hand sanitiser provided, or skin friendly skin cleaning wipes can be used. Pupils to use hand sanitiser under supervision/ direction of adults – it is not positioned in areas where pupils have free unsupervised access to it.
School to be kept well ventilated e.g., open windows where possible. (In cooler weather windows should be opened just enough to provide constant background ventilation, opened more fully during breaks to purge the air in the space) Open high-level windows in preference to low level to reduce draughts.
Increase ventilation whilst spaces are unoccupied e.g., between classes, during break & lunch, where unused.
Rearrange furniture where possible to avoid direct drafts.
Doors propped open where possible to aide ventilation (e.g., where not a fire door and not needed for safeguarding reasons).
See link for further advice on ventilation. https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation/index.htm
Encourage Covid-19 vaccination and enable staff who are eligible for a vaccine to attend booked vaccine appointments where possible.
Face coverings are now recommended for all adults when moving around the school, outside the classroom, such as corridors and communal areas.
If someone tests positive, they will need to take a further PCR test and follow isolation guidelines
If fire doors are needed to be kept open as part of the ventilation arrangements, then they must be closely monitored in case of fire evacuation.
Clinically extremely vulnerable staff/pupils
Where a pupil is unable to attend due to complying with clinical/public health advise then immediate access to remote education should be offered
CEV people should think carefully about additional precautions they can continue to take. See link for further advice,
The HSE has published guidance on …
Individuals living in a household with a ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ individual
The ‘clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
People who live with those who are clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable can attend the workplace.
Staff must take care to observe good hand and respiratory hygiene, care taken when meeting others you usually do not meet i.e., space is well ventilated, meet outside if possible, consider social distancing.
Pregnant women are generally advised to follow the above advice, which applies to all staff in schools. In some cases, pregnant women may also have
other health conditions that mean they are considered CEV, where the advice for clinically extremely vulnerable staff will apply. More guidance and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and pregnancy is available from the Royal College of Gynaecologists.
You should be aware that pregnant women from 28 weeks’ gestation, or with
underlying health conditions at any point of gestation, may be at greater risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus (COVID-19). This is also the case for pregnant women with underlying health conditions that place them at greater risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus (COVID-19).
Covid-19 infection- symptomatic individuals
Staff, pupils, and other visitors to the site
Individuals must not come into school if
They must immediately cease to attend and not attend for at least 10 days from the day after:
* From 16 August, you will not be required to self-isolate, if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 or are a close contact with someone with Covid-19 if any of the following apply:
Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test & Trace, informed they have been a close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal. They do not need to wear a face covering within the school.
If an employee or pupil develops Covid-19 symptoms whilst onsite, they are sent home and advised to stay at home and self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms and only return if they do not have symptoms other than a cough or loss of sense of smell/taste and arrange to get test at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Other members of their household should self-isolate unless they comply with the *above conditions. Their isolation period includes the day symptoms started for the first person in their household, or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms, whether this was a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test), and the next 10 full days.
If a pupil displays coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or has a positive test, while at their school they should avoid using public transport and home to school transport, and wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household. When someone is awaiting collection, they should be isolated in a separate room with closed door where possible, ideally with a window open for ventilation (ensuring appropriate supervision where applicable). If not possible, they should be kept at least 2 metres from others.
A fluid resistant surgical face mask should be worn by staff supervising the child while they await collection if a 2-metre distance cannot be maintained (e.g., a very young child or a child with special educational needs). If contact needed, then gloves and apron should be worn. Everyone must wash their hands thoroughly after contact with someone that is unwell.
If an emergency arises whilst they are awaiting collection, e.g., they are seriously ill/ injured, 999 is called rather than taking them to a hospital or GP surgery.
The area where the person was isolated, their desk/ classroom, and any toilet used whilst waiting for collection, will be cleaned as per latest PHE guidelines. Used PPE and other waste generated will be disposed of in line with PHE guidelines i.e., double bagged and stored securely for 72 hours unless negative result is reported, before disposing of in line with normal waste collection from site.
Individuals with symptoms must have a PCR test. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested
Parents and staff should inform schools immediately the results of a test.
Refer to Public Health England on the latest isolation times and cleaning requirements
Everyone must wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and running water or use hand sanitiser after any contact with someone who has Covid-19 symptoms. The area around the person with symptoms must be cleaned after they have left, to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people. See the guidance on the cleaning of non-healthcare settings.
Anyone who has been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed
case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, irrespective of their vaccination status or 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 be provided with details about self-isolation.
Additional actions for educational settings may be advised by a local Incident Management Team (IMT) investigating a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
NHS Test & Trace link:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested or by calling NHS119
Ensure active engagement with NHS track and trace process
Travel to and from site
Staff, pupils, parents, contractors, members of public
Pupils/staff are reminded not to touch the front of their face covering during use or removal. They must wash hands immediately on arrival and dispose face covering in covered bin or if reusable in a plastic bag and wash their hands again (if applicable) before going to their classroom
Further guidance from the DfE to be published on dedicated school transport which should be followed
Children must not board home to school transport if they have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
First Aid Cover
Staff, pupils, contractors
First aid cover is continually monitored to ensure adequate cover and First Aid needs Assessment reviewed if necessary, e.g., if shortage of first aid trained staff due to self-isolation.
All staff informed of where the first aid boxes are kept.
Activity of first aiders reviewed and they act in line with Covid-19 HSE guidance https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/first-aid-and-medicals/first-aid-certificate-coronavirus.htm
where applicable, e.g., when dealing with a visitor/ parent requiring first aid, where the first aider is unable to ascertain if the patient is symptom free and they are unable to maintain social distancing. Rescue breaths will not be given to adults – chest compressions only.
Call NHS 111 for additional clinical advice or help in a non-emergency situation (for emergency situations, 999 should be called).
PPE is not necessary when dealing with pupils and staff on site, where you are able to ascertain they are symptom free:
School trips and visits
You should undertake full and thorough risk assessments in relation to all educational visits to ensure they can be undertaken safely.
The following general guidance about educational visits is below:
and supported by specialist advice from the Outdoor Education Advisory Panel (OEAP)
Travel abroad & Quarantine
Staff, pupils, & visitors
All travellers arriving into the UK will need to isolate and get a PCR test by ‘day two’ after arrival. They may end their isolation once they receive a negative result. If the result is positive, they should continue to isolate and follow rules on isolation following a positive test
Unvaccinated arrivals aged over 18 will follow the existing, more onerous, testing and isolation regime.
All Red list arrivals will enter quarantine.
Anyone on site
Appropriate positioning of flammable hand sanitiser e.g., not immediately adjacent potential ignition sources. Storage of hand sanitiser stocks carefully considered e.g., kept in a suitable location, away from ignition sources, not in higher risk rooms e.g., boiler rooms, stock kept to sensible volume.
Staff reminded to let sanitiser fully evaporate/ dry before continuing work.
Please discuss any specific concerns discuss with NSC H&S team
Reduced staff numbers on site due to isolation/ working from home
Where numbers of staff are affected particularly those with critical roles staff levels are reviewed to ensure minimum safe supervision levels are being maintained.
Roles of staff are reviewed/ monitored to ensure all required core functions can be maintained e.g., relating to safeguarding, fire safety, first aid, senior leadership/ financial/ admin tasks, building compliance/ caretaking duties.
Additional instruction/ information/ training given where needed to those covering changes to roles.
Staff traveling abroad during school holidays must follow latest gov guidance on quarantine measures how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk/
School leaders need to be mindful of staffing levels should return travel or quarantine requirements be disrupted and thus impacting on staff returning to work and where it’s not possible to avoid a member of staff having to quarantine during term, school leaders should consider if possible, to temporarily amend working arrangements to enable them to work from home
Pupils with existing education, health, and care (EHC) plans/ individual risk assessments
For pupils in school, staff will familiarise themselves with individual risk assessments/ care plans if they are supporting children they don’t normally support.
Where close personal care is needed for caring for a symptomatic individual, this is done following the EHC plan and the standard infection control precautions required for the task. Arrangements for obtaining/ maintaining PPE stocks for these instances put in place.
Risk assessments will need to be kept under review due to changing circumstances
Please refer to the latest government guidance e.g.:
Government locally imposed rules and contingency plans for increase in positive Covid case in schools
Staff, Pupils, cleaners, contractors
Contingency plans are to be in place and up to date in the event the number of positive cases substantially increase, outlining how you would operate with extra measures to help break the chain of transmission.
Action should be taken if either of the following thresholds are reached:
5 children, pupils, students, or staff, who are likely to have mixed closely, test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period: or
10% of children, pupils, students, or staff who are likely to have mixed closely test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period.
When the above thresholds are
reached, education and childcare settings should review and reinforce the testing, hygiene and ventilation measures they already have in place. Settings may wish to seek additional public health advice if they are concerned about transmission in the setting, either by phoning the DfE helpline (0800 046 8687, option 1) or in line with other local arrangements.
Ensure contingency plans are in place to cover the possible reintroduction of “bubbles” for a temporary period
Schools will need to follow advice in the following link
All settings should seek public health advice if a pupil, student, child, or staff member is admitted to hospital with COVID-19. They can do this by phoning the DfE helpline (0800 046 8687, option 1) or in line with other local arrangements. Hospitalisation could indicate increased severity of illness or a new variant of concern. Settings may be offered public health support in managing risk assessments and communicating with staff and parents.
If thresholds are met