Updated: Apr 23
Back in June 2020 the KEVIGS extended H&S group reviewed international evidence about COVID from Italy; Singapore; Hong Kong; Germany; France and Australia.
That evidence persuaded us to insist on reopening KEVIGs in September not earlier in June, and to insist on masks in the classroom and smaller class sizes that would allow us to introduce social distancing into our crowded classrooms.
Those arrangements, based on the international scientific evidence, remain in place today, and will continue in place until the end of May.
Presently, we have no plans for these arrangements to continue in September and we are currently planning our curriculum; timetable and staffing assuming a return to business as normal.
However, there are many lessons that COVID has taught us about public health strategies and there use in a school setting. We have had no school based COVID, Flu, or Winter Sickness outbreaks. In a normal year we might see significant spread and transmission across both pupils and staff with large numbers ill and off school. This is before you factor in the common cold into the equation which simply drags people down: again far less of this around during the Autumn Term. In fact our single, biggest reason for absence - both staff and students - has been self-isolation.
So what might September look like? What things might we keep that may help us all be healthier and avoid illness?
Sanitiser in classrooms and on your person seems like a simple and normal activity to help reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria; likewise regular fogging of rooms and toilets is quick and inexpensive.
Might we take a leaf out of the countries and cultures of the Asia Pacific region and encourage mask wearing by those with coughs/colds or upper respiratory illnesses?
I would certainly hope we would open our minds to the community wide benefits that all families; students and staff would get from combining these tactics and normalising them into school life.