Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Autumn Term Planning Checklist for Tytherington School
17th July 2020

On 2 July, the Department for Education (DfE) published guidance to support schools in England with full reopening from the beginning of the autumn term 2020. This can be viewed by using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Although the guidance provides flexibility for schools to apply the guidance to their own contexts, it does include a section headed System of Controls, which is the set of actions schools must take. They are grouped into ‘prevention’ and ‘response to any infection’.

The checklist below sets out the actions and checks we are taking to ensure that we comply with the guidance in order to open the school fully in September.

Health and safety

It is the government’s expectation that all pupils in all year groups, will return to full-time school from the beginning of the autumn term (appreciating that the date schools return varies). The guidance (which is endorsed by Public Health England (PHE)) sets out a set of actions school and college leaders should take to minimise the risk of transmission.

Steps we are taking:

  • Complete the LA health and safety risk assessment; and revise where necessary individual and specific risk assessments.
  • Consider the impact on staff and pupils who have protected characteristics, including race and disability.
  • Carrying out risk assessments particularly for vulnerable groups (children and adults), to understand the specific risks faced from exposure to Covid-19, and actions which we as employers can take to keep all school users safe. This includes staff returning to work in school, and existing staff who are potentially more at risk due to their race, age, disability or pregnancy.
  • Review of our emergency procedures such as Fire Drills to ensure they take into consideration the adaptions being made in order to enable the school to fully open in September.
  • We will continue with our external site inspections and property management checks.
  • Removal of all unnecessary furniture and equipment.
  • Updating our procedures for deliveries, contractors and necessary visitors

Social distancing and hygiene

Steps we are taking:

  • Seating plans for all classrooms, increasing distance between students and, where possible, ensuring all desks are forward facing where possible.
  • Plans to promote handwashing/use of sanitiser particularly: after coming into school; after sneezing and coughing; before and after handling or eating food; and after going to the toilet.
  • Ensure that there are enough hand washing facilities and sanitisers around the school.
  • Promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, e.g. by providing tissues, bins, posters.
  • Ensure sufficient stock of frequently used items (e.g. stationery) to minimise sharing amongst pupils.
  • Identify any specific PPE needs and ensure sufficient supply using local supply chains.
  • Contact suppliers and service providers to inform them of social distancing and hygiene measures.
  • Advise staff to utilise natural ventilation via external doors and windows where possible and safe to so

Planning arrangements to reduce mixing between groups

Steps we are taking:

  • KS3 classes placed into “bubbles”. Whilst these classes move around the school, they spend almost all their time in school as a group.
  • Each classroom will have an alcoholic sanitiser at the entry. There will also be sanitisers placed around high volume areas around the school. Students will need to use them as they enter and leave classrooms.
  • More staff out and about on duty before/after school, lesson change-overs, etc.
  • Ensure staff in classrooms or supervising by 8.35am.
  • At end of day stagger release of ‘walkers’ with bus students held back.
  • “Space out” bus pick up points.
  • Year groups have designated eating/break zones. Students will bring in packed lunch/Innovate deliver packed lunches to classes.
  • Some lessons may finish early to allow for staggered movement time, etc.
  • One way corridors and pathways where possible.
  • Move staff meetings to zoom/teams.
  • Virtual Parents events for the first term e.g. Open Evening, Parents’ Evenings, etc.

Before school

Protective measures:

  • Use of increased entrances to the school, encourage staggered arrival times and students heading straight to tutor rooms


Steps we are taking:

  • Employing more cleaning staff to increase cleaning capacity.
  • Using PHE’s COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance.
  • Introducing a new cleaning schedule.
  • Implementing a cleaning log to track cleaning frequency for bathrooms, classrooms and communal areas.
  • New procedure for the daily removal and safe disposal of rubbish.
  • Schedule frequent cleaning of resources (e.g. books, specialist equipment) shared within groups.
  • Schedule the isolation or cleaning of resources (e.g. books, toys) shared between groups.
  • Purchase additional standard cleaning equipment


The guidance states that with the relaxation of shielding measures from 1 August, they expect that most staff will attend school. The wider government advice advises that those who can work from home to do so. They state that this will not be applicable to most school staff, but where a role may be conducive to working from home, giving the example of admin roles, school leaders should “consider what is feasible and appropriate”. We have two members of staff who we will ask to work from home.

Steps we are taking:

  • Review of staffing plan so we can redeploy staff to reflect changes to the school’s operation and to support catch-up provision. Note that the guidance advises that staff can operate across different classes and year groups.
  • We are slightly overstaffed from a teaching perspective to allow us to cope with staff absence.
  • Provide communications and mandatory training on cleaning protocols, hygiene practices and social distancing for all staff.
  • Communicate other requirements, such as, monitoring of symptoms, what to do if a colleague or pupil is unwell, dedicated first aiders and safeguarding leads, revisions to emergency plans, plans to supervise arrivals and departures, break and lunchtimes (including late arrivals), and plan a system for providing feedback and relief for staff to facilitate breaks and absence.
  • We are considering the wellbeing and welfare of all staff by putting in place measures to check on staff wellbeing. We are in contact with the new staff joining.
  • We will make appropriate ongoing adjustments to application of sickness absence policies to reflect Covid-19 related absences and issues.
  • We will regularly review how we handle cases of staff who are subject to any ongoing/pre-existing processes under sickness absence, capability and disciplinary policies.
  • Track staff groups differentiating between absence related to Covid-19 and other absences e. those who are unwell, shielding and in self-isolation. Continue with regular reporting of staff absence figures.
  • Individual plans for staff who are returning to work from maternity, paternity, adoption leave or long-term sickness absence.
  • Ensure that we have in place a robust and comprehensive audit trail of all support provided in cases of staff absence. Review revisions to work plans and risk assessments.


The government guidance sets out a number of key expectations for schools and other settings to consider if revising their school curriculum for the 2020/21 academic year:

  • Teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term but make use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content.
  • Aim to return to the school’s normal curriculum in all subjects by summer term 2021.
  • Plan on the basis of the educational needs of pupils.
  • Develop remote education so that it is integrated into school curriculum planning.

Steps we are taking:

  • HODs identifying the most important missed content and making use of existing flexibilities to plan how this will be covered
  • Plan formative assessment of pupils to inform modifications to the school’s curriculum.
  • Identify students most at risk of disengagement/most in need of additional tutoring.
  • Engage with LAs, agencies and the families of pupils with SEND to devise a plan to provide specific support as needed.
  • Ensure individual education plans (IEPs) and EHCPs are in place and reviewed for each child who may be at increased risk or has additional needs. Work with your local authority or trust; and where applicable NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, and families to identify what provision can be reasonably provided for in line with EHCPs.

Behaviour and attendance

Steps we are taking:

  • Write to parents, explaining what precautions and processes will be in place, mandatory attendance expectations and the reasons why returning to school is important.
  • Revise behaviour and attendance policies if necessary to create the right conditions to re-engage pupils in their learning and reintegrate them back into school life. Further information will be made available on this page.
  • Review uniform expectations where necessary.
  • Begin joint work with LAs to develop plans for re-engaging pupils at risk of disengagement, including vulnerable children, those previously persistently absent and those who have not engaged with school during lockdown.
  • Provide additional pastoral and support services, exploring how services might be delivered remotely prior to reopening. Refresh ‘where to get help’ posters all around school for when children and young people return and place them in prominent places.
  • Be aware that the KCSIE guidance has been updated. We will provide the Designated Safeguarding Leaders (DSLs) with some extra time to update staff, particularly at the start of the Autumn Term.

Remote education

The government guidance advises that for individuals or groups of self-isolating pupils remote education plans should be in place. Schools are also advised to have a contingency plan in place in the event of a local outbreak.

Steps we are taking:

  • Refine our contingency plan for remote education provision.
  • Implement systems to move to providing remote education where a class, group or small number of pupils need to self-isolate, or where there is a local lockdown, as soon as you are reasonably able to.


Note that the guidance makes a distinction between dedicated school transport (including statutory provision) and public transport services which are also used by the general public, providing guidance for each scenario. It also recognises that social distancing will significantly reduce available transport in the autumn term.

Steps we are taking:

  • Encourage parents and pupils to walk, cycle or drive to school rather than take public transport.
  • Remind parents and pupils still using public transport that face coverings are mandatory for children 11 years+.
  • Work with the local authority, other local schools and transport providers to consider adjusting start and finish times and/or staggered starts, as mentioned above consider the needs of parents and carers dropping off and picking up from more than one education setting.
  • Work with home-to-school transport providers to determine appropriate protective measures to take on transport to align with your school’s policies.
  • Communicate with parents, carers and pupils the importance of travelling safely and being aware of dangers, such as, stranger danger and travelling to school alone; and the measures they could use to reduce risks to their personal safety.

Planned Procedures to Manage Suspected or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

Steps we are taking:

  • Absolute clarity on the process for dealing with symptomatic pupils.
  • Familiarity with the guidance relating to the procedure for dealing with a suspected outbreak.
  • Identify a room that symptomatic pupils will wait in until parents collect them, ideally with: a door than can be closed; a window for ventilation; a separate bathroom (either attached to the room or nearby); use signage to designate the room and process for identifying if it is in use.

Prior to children and young people returning to school, plan and deliver staff training on the process for dealing with symptomatic pupils and ensure they are aware of the steps the school will take in the event of an outbreak.

Leave a Reply