Coronavirus advice for UK schools and educational settings
At the time of writing (03 March 2020), over 60 countries have been infected with Coronavirus and the number of UK cases is expected to rise. With this in mind, what safeguarding measures can UK schools and educational settings take to stop the spread of Coronavirus?
Practice good hygiene measures
When it comes to coughing and sneezing, encourage the use of a tissue instead of allowing the germs to escape in the air. Throw the tissue away straight after use and wash hands thoroughly. Catch it, bin it, kill it.
Wash hands with soap or sanitiser at the following intervals:
- Arrival at school / educational setting
- Before and after eating
- Before and after breaks and sport activities
- After using the toilet
In addition to this, discourage teachers and pupils from touching the eyes, face and nose with unwashed hands.
Letter to parents template
Download our editable letter template for parents or carers which includes precautions for educating their children on the importance of regularly washing hands, avoiding contact with the face and refraining from sharing items such as cups and bottles.
Deter pupils and teachers from sharing
In usual circumstances, sharing is caring but while Coronavirus continues to spread, pupils and teachers should avoid sharing items such as cups, dishes, bottles, pencils and pens.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
In the early stages of Coronavirus, those infected can experience a high fever, runny nose, dry cough and shortness of breath. However, it is difficult to attribute these symptoms to Coronavirus, since many people experience a dry cough and runny nose when they have a cold. It is best to take a common sense approach and if in doubt, contact a GP.
Coronavirus UK school closures
The rise of Coronavirus has led to schools in Japan, Hong Kong and France closing as a precautionary measure and the introduction of online lessons as temporary alternative.
The UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock revealed that the government is not currently recommending UK school closures, unless advised by Public Health England. Commenting on the current situation, Hancock said “I want to minimise the social and economic disruption, and at this stage we still have the hope that we might be able to avoid this outcome.”
Self-isolate if you feel unwell
It is currently only possible to catch Coronavirus by coming into contact with someone infected. Pupils and teachers who experience symptoms are advised to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days to avoid the spread of disease.
Coronavirus advice for education settings poster
Public Health England have created a Coronavirus advice for education settings poster to help inform students of best practice to help reduce the risk of Coronavirus spreading.