Covid-19 Response Plan for Ballagh N.S.

Introduction
This Covid-19 Response Plan is designed to support the staff and Board of Management in putting measures in place that will prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Ballagh National School.

The Covid-19 Response Plan details the policies and practices necessary for a school to meet the Government’s ‘Return to Work Safely Protocol’, the Department of Education and Skills plan for school reopening and to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the school environment. The plan incorporates current advice about measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the community issued by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

It is important that the resumption of school based teaching and learning and the reopening of school facilities comply with the protocol to minimise the risk to students, staff and others. As the advice issued by NPHET continues to evolve, this protocol and the measures management and staff need to address may also change.
The response plan will support the sustainable reopening of our school where the overriding objective is to protect the health of staff and pupils while promoting the educational and development needs of the children in the school.
In line with the Return to Work Safely Protocol, the key to a safe and continued return to work, and re-opening of our schools requires strong communication and a shared collaborative approach between the Board of management, staff, pupils and parents.


This document aims to provide details of Covid-19 School Policy Statement, and :

  1. Planning and Preparing for Return to School
  2. Return to work safely and Lead Worker Representative(s)
  3. Safety Statement and Risk Assessment
  4. General advice to prevent the spread of the virus
  5. Procedure for Returning to Work (RTW)
  6. Control Measures
  7. Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19
  8. Staff Duties
  9. Covid related absence management
  10. Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme.

The assistance and cooperation of all staff, pupils, parents/guardians, contractors and visitors is critical to the success of the plan. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this document. However, should errors or omissions be identified, please notify us so that appropriate measures can be taken to rectify same. Note: The plan is a live working document and may be reviewed and amended to take into account new guidance from www.Gov.ie, www.dbei.ie www.hse.ie, www.hpsc.ie, www.hsa.ie; www.education.ie;

Ballagh National School
COVID-19 Policy Statement

Ballagh National School is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our pupils. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will:

• continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff
• provide up to date information to our staff & pupils on the Public Health advice issued by HSE and Gov.ie
• display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct handwashing techniques
• agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan
• inform all staff and pupils of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements
• adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the guidance and direction of the Department of Education
• keep a contact log to help with contact tracing
• ensure staff engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education
• implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school
• provide instructions for staff and pupils to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time
• implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice

All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.

This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s), who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.

Signed: Vivienne Barry – Chairperson Date: 12/08/2020

  1. Planning and Preparing for Return to School
    The school has a responsibility to make efforts to ensure the safety, health and well-being of all members of our school community – children, parents and staff. This plan has been formulated to better ensure that the school can exercise that duty of care. The return to work must be done safely
    and in strict adherence to the advice and instructions of public health authorities and the Government.
    Assuming it is in keeping with public health advice and guidelines issued by the Department of Education and Skills, it is preferable for all children to return to school for all five days of the school week and for a full school day. This plan has been formulated to achieve that aim. It is not possible to eliminate the risk of infection. However, with the co-operation of all members of our school community, it is possible to minimise the risk of the virus being introduced to school and the consequent risk of its spread.
    You should not, under any circumstances, send your child to school if they have a temperature, a cough of any kind, loss of smell or taste or if they have any kind of shortness of breath. If you are in any doubt whether you should send your child to school or not, please err on the side of caution. Details for the reopening of the school facility and the applicable controls are outlined in this document.
    Signage
    The school will display signage outlining the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and will support good hand and respiratory hygiene. Posters are displayed in prominent areas such as offices, corridors, staffroom area, classrooms and toilets.
    Procedure for Returning to Work (RTW)
    In order to return to the workplace, staff must complete a Return to Work (RTW) form, which is available from the Principal. A RTW form should only be completed at least 3 days prior to any proposed date of return to the workplace. On receipt of the completed form the Principal will provide: details of the Induction Training for completion by staff prior to the return to the workplace and details of any additional health and safety measures in place in the school to facilitate the staff member’s return to the school facility
  2. Return to work safely and Lead Worker Representative
    Responsibility for the development and implementation of the Covid-19 Response Plan and the associated control measures lies primarily with the Board of Management and the School Leadership. The Return to Work Safely protocol provides for an agreed procedure between management and staff to appoint a Lead Worker Representative ( Ms Deirdre Judge) and Deputy Lead Worker Representative (Ms Eimear Daly) to carry out a specific role. The role of the worker representative is to ensure that Covid-19 measures are adhered to in the workplace as follows:
    ∙ Work collaboratively with the employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19.
    ∙ Promote good hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with public health advice.
    ∙ Assist with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace.
    ∙ Monitor adherence to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    ∙ Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.
    ∙ Make representations on behalf of their colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace. If a staff member has any concerns or observations in relation to the Covid-19 Response Plan and control measures or the adherence to such control measures by staff, parent, contractors or visitors, he/she should contact the lead worker(s) who will engage with the Principal and BOM. All staff, parents, contractors and visitors have a responsibility both as individuals and collectively to have due regard for their own health and safety and that of others and to assist with the implementation of the Covid-19 Response Plan and associated control measures.
  3. Safety Statement and Risk Assessment
    COVID-19 represents a hazard in the context of health and safety in the school environment. A risk assessment has been undertaken to identify the control measures required to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in school settings. Emergency procedures involving, fire safety, first aid, accidents and dangerous occurrences will be undertaken to consider any new risks that arise due to the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan. The school will also review their existing risk assessments to consider any new risks that arise due to the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan. (Appendix A)
  4. General advice to prevent the spread of the virus
    Children who should not attend school:
    If your child is in one of the following categories, they should not attend school;
    • Children who have been diagnosed with Covid-19
    • Children who have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with Covid-19
    • Children who have a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending
    • Children who have been in contact with a person who has a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending
    • Children with underlying health conditions who have been directed by a medical professional not to attend school
    • Children who have returned home after travelling abroad and must self-isolate for a period of 14 days
    • Children who are generally unwell

If a child is not able to attend school for an extended period of time, the class teacher (and/or the learning support teacher, where relevant) will suggest activities to support the child’s learning at home.

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 it is important to know and recognise the symptoms. They are:
 High temperature
 Cough
 Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
 Loss of smell, of taste or distortion of taste
The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in a school is to minimise the risk of introduction of the disease into the school in the first place. This can be achieved through the following measures:
• Promote awareness of COVID-19 and its symptoms amongst staff, pupils, parents and visitors.
• Advise staff and parents of pupils who have symptoms of COVID-19 or other acute infectious diseases not to attend school, to phone their GP and follow the HSE guidance on self-isolation.
• Advise staff and parents of pupils who have been identified by the HSE as contact of a person with COVID19 not to attend schools and to follow the HSE advice on restriction of movement.
• Ensure that staff and pupils know what to do will if they develop symptoms at school.
• Everyone entering the school building will be required to perform hand hygiene with hand sanitiser.
• Visitors to school during the day will be by prior arrangement and should be received at a specific contact point.
Staff, pupils and visitors should at all times adhere to the up to date advice and instructions of the public health authorities in relation to protecting oneself and others against the risk posed by the
Covid-19 virus. Updated advice from the HSE is available on its website – https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/
The Department of Education and Skills will ensure all updated advice is circulated to schools. Ballagh National School will arrange for this advice to be circulated to staff, pupils and visitors in a timely manner.
The Department has been working closely with the HSE and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) to develop health advice which has been tailored to the needs of schools in order to support schools in planning for reopening in autumn. The link to the Interim Public Health recommendations for the reopening of schools can be found here.
The advice will continue to be updated in line with public health advice generally and will inform the development of more detailed guidance for schools by the Department of Education.
https://www.education.ie/en/covid-19/interim-recommendations-for-the-reopening-of-schoolsand-educationalfacilities.pdf

Managing the risk of spread of COVID-19

Wash your hands frequently
Regular hand washing with soap and water is effective for the removal of COVID-19. Follow the HSE guidelines on handwashing: For advice from HSE on how to wash your hands the following link will be helpful: https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/how-to-wash-your-hands.html


Hand Hygiene and Hand Sanitisers
Hand hygiene can also be achieved by the use of a hand sanitisers (when hands are clean). Hand sanitisers are more readily deployed in school settings to avoid disruption to teaching and learning and to avoid congestion of staff and pupils waiting to use hand washing facilities. They will be available at entry and exit points and in each classroom.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.
Physical distancing
Physical distancing is recommended to reduce the spread of infection in the workplace. Guidance on the physical distancing requirements will be informed by public health advice for schools.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and Covid19.
People at very high risk (extremely vulnerable):
Current public health guidelines have identified groups who are defined as being at very high risk. The HSE has set out these groups, which include people who:
The list of people in very high risk groups include people who:
• are over 70 years of age – even if you’re fit and well
• have had an organ transplant
• are undergoing active chemotherapy for cancer
• are having radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
• have cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
• are having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
• are having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
• have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
• severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, lung fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and severe COPD
• have a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
• are taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppression therapies)
• have a serious heart condition and you are pregnant
The advice for this group is available from the HSE. Staff who are in this group should self-declare on the Return to Work form if they believe that they are at very high risk. Details of the leave arrangements that will apply will be updated by the Department of Education and Skills.
If the Board/Principal is unsure whether or not staff fall into the very high-risk category, advice will be sought from the Occupational Health Service.

Control Measures
A range of essential control measures have been implemented to reduce the risk of the spread of Covid-19 virus and to protect the safety, health and welfare of staff, pupils, parents/guardians and visitors as far as possible within the school. These control measures shall continue to be reviewed and updated as required on an ongoing basis.
It is critical that staff, pupils, parents/guardians and visitors are aware of, and adhere to, the control measures outlined and that they fully cooperate with all health and safety requirements. Staff, in particular, should note that they have a legal obligation under Section 13 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to comply with health and safety requirements and to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves, their colleagues and other parties within the workplace.
The following control measures have been put in place:
i. Return to Work Form
Staff will be required to complete a RTW form at least 3 days prior to any return to the school facility. The purpose of the RTW form is to get confirmation from staff that, to the best of his/her knowledge, he/she has no symptoms of Covid-19 and is not self-isolating or cocooning or awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test. (Appendix B)

ii. Induction Training
All staff will undertake and complete Covid-19 Induction Training prior to returning to the school building. The aim of such training is to ensure that staff have full knowledge and understanding of the following:
• Latest up to-date advice and guidance on public health
• Covid-19 symptoms
• What to do if a staff member or pupil develops symptoms of Covid-19 while at school
• Outline of the Covid-19 response plan
Staff will be kept fully informed of the control measures in place in the school and their duties and responsibilities in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and with any changes to the control measures or guidance available from the public health authorities.
If a staff member is unsure about any aspect of the Covid-19 Response Plan, the associated control measures, or his/her duties, he/she should immediately seek guidance from the Principal.
iii. Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
It is crucial that all staff, pupils, parents/guardians, contractors and visitors are familiar with, and adopt, good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.
Guidance documentation and Information posters will be available at various locations within the school facility. Information posters will be prominently displayed at appropriate locations within the school facility including offices, corridors, staffroom area, classrooms and toilet areas. Such are intended to inform but also remind everyone about the importance of hygiene in preventing the spread of Covid-19 virus and protecting health and safety. Handwashing facilities and/or hand sanitisers will be available at multiple locations within the school facility and should be available in each classroom.
iv. Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE in the form of visors or masks will be worn by staff in general if they cannot observe the 2meter distancing rule, and staff who are attending to particular care needs or who are administering first aid will wear appropriate PPE including gloves and face masks.

Appropriate PPE will be available for dealing with suspected COVID-19 cases, intimate care needs and for first aid. Where staff provide healthcare to children with medical needs in the school environment, they will apply standard precautions as per usual.

Masks:
The children are not required to wear masks or face coverings.

Gloves:
There is no need for the children to wear disposable gloves. They are considered inappropriate under the guidelines. Staff members do not need to wear disposable gloves unless they are looking after a pupil’s intimate care needs or administering First Aid. There will be an emphasis on hand hygiene rather than on the wearing of disposable gloves.

PPE will not be required to be worn within the school facility according to current occupational and public health guidance. However, for a limited number of staff, PPE will need to be used occasionally or constantly due to the nature of certain work activities or work areas.
Such include roles where:
• Performing intimate care
• Where a suspected case of Covid-19 is identified while the school is in operation
v. Hygiene and Cleaning

Arrangements for more regular and thorough cleaning of areas and surfaces within the school will be made. Regular and thorough cleaning of communal areas and frequently touched surfaces shall be conducted, in particular, toilets, lifts, door handles and kitchens. Cleaning will be performed regularly and whenever facilities or surfaces are visibly dirty.
All staff will have access to cleaning products and will be required to maintain cleanliness of their own work area. Under no circumstances should these cleaning materials be removed from the building.
Staff should thoroughly clean and disinfect their work area before and after use each day. There will be regular collection of used waste disposal bags from offices and other areas within the school facility. This shall be reviewed in line with government guidance.
Toilet- the boys and girls toilets are divided into zones for Junior/ Senior Class groups. We ask that all pupils stick to their own designated zone which will be explained by school staff.

Ventilation- Windows

To ensure that classrooms are well ventilated, windows will be kept open as often as possible, and will be opened while children are taking breaks in the playground.

vi.   Access to the school building /contact log  

Access to the school facility will be in line with agreed school procedures. Arrangement for necessary visitors such as contractors and parents/guardians with be restricted to essential purposes and limited to those who have obtained prior approval from the Principal.
The prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a crucial step in restricting the spread of the virus and protecting the health and safety of the individuals themselves and other staff, contractors and visitors at the workplace. A detailed sign in/sign out log of those entering the school facilities will be maintained. The school will maintain a log of staff and students contacts. (Appendix C) vii. First Aid/emergency procedure
The standard First Aid/Emergency procedure shall continue to apply in Ballagh National School. In an emergency or in case of a serious incident, call for an ambulance or the fire brigade on 112/999 Contact the Principal or nearest first aider giving details of location and type of medical incident.

viii.   Personal Equipment 

It is requested that children bring their own pens, pencils, colours, rubbers, etc., to school in their own pencil case to avoid the sharing of equipment. We would ask that these pencil cases are left in school and that the children have another one for home. It is further requested that all items have the child’s name on them for ease of identification. The school will provide a plastic tray/storage area for each child to store their books. For children in Junior room, the school will provide a small container which will hold each child’s pencils, crayons, etc., and which will be labelled with their name. Children are not allowed to bring any sports or personal items to school. At the moment no football or other wholeclass games are permitted.

In the interest of hygiene please ensure that your child’s books are covered with a plastic cover. This will ensure that they can be cleaned more easily. By necessity, some classroom equipment needs to be shared including ipads, laptops and the equipment used for structured activities and play in Infant classrooms. Cleaning of such shared equipment with wipes or other cleaning products will take place at regular intervals to minimise the risk of the spread of infection.

ix.     Learning Support 

In keeping with our Special Education policy, learning support will be provided by a blended approach of in-class support and withdrawal. The provision of support will be organised to ensure our support teacher will work within the confines of a bubble. Where a support teacher is working alongside a class teacher in a classroom, both teachers must be mindful of maintaining social distance from one another. Where children from 3rd to 6th Class receive support in the SET rooms, social distancing of 1 metre will be maintained between each child in the group. The tables and chairs in SET rooms will be wiped clean in between different groups attending.

x.  Team Teaching/Special Education Teachers/Special Needs Assistants 

Staff members (particularly Learning Support Teachers and SNAs) can rotate between areas/classes but this will be minimized where possible. When rotation occurs, agreed sanitising routines will be observed.

xi.     Lunches 

Parents must make sure that children bring their lunches to school to avoid adults having to come to the school during the day. Please remind your children not to share their food or drinks with other children. Children will eat their lunches at their desks, as per our usual practice. Please ensure that your child can open their bottles, lunchboxes and anything in them as the teacher cannot assist them. All uneaten lunches and packaging must be brought home and be disposed of at home.

xii.    Uniforms/Tracksuits 

We would be grateful if pupils could alternate wearing their school uniform and tracksuits on the following days to allow for washing:
 Monday – Uniform  Tuesday – Tracksuit  Wednesday – Uniform  Thursday – Tracksuit  Friday- Uniform

As a school we strongly advise that children should wear their school uniforms or tracksuits only for school related activities. Uniforms or tracksuits should be taken off straight after the child arrives home from school for the day. They should not be worn in after-school facilities, shops, during afterschool activities, etc.

xiii.   Office (this system can be set up using Aladdin, parents can pay online!) 

A contactless payment system is been set up to minimise the amount of cash that needs to be handled. Parents/Guardians are asked to co-operate in helping to keep school staff safe by arranging for contactless payments through the school office. Children should not be sent to the Secretary’s Office or to the Reception area to deliver messages. As far as possible, staff members should not enter the Office area and should speak with the Secretary from outside the Office door.

xiv.    Photocopying 

Any staff member who uses the photocopier should clean it down after use with the wipes provided. Children will not be permitted to leave their classrooms to use the photocopier.

xv.     ICT 

A timetable will be drawn up for the use of common ICTs. Devices should be cleaned after use and before they are returned to the charging trolley.

xvi.    Substitute Teachers and SNAs 

A copy of the Covid-19 Response Plan will be provided to each substitute teacher/SNA. Substitutes will be required to complete a Return to the Workplace form before they enter a classroom and will be asked to confirm that they have engaged in the online Induction training.

xvii.   Physical Education and P.E. Equipment 

Physical Education lessons will take place outside when the weather allows. Staff members and pupils may take additional breaks outside during the school day.

xviii.  Parent/ Teacher Meetings  

Parent/Teacher Meetings may take place via phone or be postponed. We will assess the situation closer to the time.

xix.    Staffroom 

All staff members should maintain a physical distance of 2 metres when they are not engaged in teaching e.g. when they are using the staff room and arriving to work. If 2m cannot be maintained in staff groups, face coverings should be worn. Staff meetings will be held remotely or in small groups or in large spaces to facilitate physical distancing.

xx. Homework:
In order to ease the transition back to school for children they will not be getting homework for their first two weeks back in school.
xxi. Coming to and leaving school:
It is very important that we limit interaction on arrival and departure from school. Children from junior infants to second will line up on designated spots to the right of the main entrance of the school building. Children from 3rd to 6th will line up on designated spots to the left of the main entrance of the school building. Children from the junior room will be escorted around the right of the school building and enter at the back of the school directly into their classroom. The senior children will likewise be escorted into the school building through the main entrance of the school. Staff will be at the various points in the mornings to greet the children and direct them to their lines. Over the first couple of weeks, until the children become familiar with the new procedures all staff will wear hi-vis jackets or bibs. To minimise the risks, and to help us to maintain social distancing, the children may not come onto the school grounds before 9:15am. School starts at 9:20 am.

  1. Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19

We love to see all of our children at school every day. However, under the current circumstances, parents/guardians must keep children at home if they display any Covid-19 Symptoms.
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/symptoms.html

Staff must not attend school if they display any symptoms. A designated isolation area has been created in the storage room beside the boys’ toilet. If a staff member/pupil displays symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, the following procedure will be implemented:
The pupil will be accompanied to the isolation area. A distance of 2 meters will be maintained. If this is not possible, the person accompanying the child must wear a face covering.

If a pupil has a suspected case, parents/guardians will be contacted immediately by telephone. To help us in this regard, Parents are asked to make sure that their contact details are kept up to date at all times. Staff members who are symptomatic should immediately inform the Principal and go to the isolation area. A face covering will be provided to the staff member/child who is symptomatic. The staff member or child who is symptomatic should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. If the staff member/child is well enough to go home, arrangements will be made for them to be transported home by a family member, as soon as possible. The staff member/child will leave the school through the emergency exit beside the isolation area in the storage room.

Anyone who is symptomatic is advised to inform their general practitioner by phone of their symptoms. Public transport of any kind should not be used to travel home. If the staff member/child is too unwell to go home or advice is required, the school will contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick person is a Covid-19 suspect. The isolation area and work areas will be thoroughly cleaned in line with the guidelines.

The HSE will inform any staff/parents who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process. The HSE will contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID19 is made. The instructions of the HSE should be followed and staff and pupil confidentiality is essential at all times.

It is important to remember than any of us can get sick or unwell, and if we do, we need understanding and support from those around us. It is essential that anyone who feels unwell makes that known to the Principal as soon as possible.

Impact of a Suspected or Confirmed Case of Covid-19 in a Class:
If the school is notified that a person in your child’s class has a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19

•   Public health advice will be sought and followed. 
  1. Staff Duties
    Teaching and Learning:
    As a staff, we are very aware that the children have been away from school since March 12th. We appreciate the time and effort that went into Home Learning, and we recognise the challenges that Home Learning presented for all families. Each child will be a different place in relation to his/her learning, and we wish to assure you that staff will take that into consideration when planning for Teaching and Learning during the 2020/2021 school year.

The Department of Education and Skills has published Curriculum guidelines for us, and we ask you to trust our experience and professional expertise as we work with all the children during the return to school.

Supporting the Learning of children who cannot attend school:
If a child is not able to attend school for an extended period of time, the class teacher (and/or the Special Education Teacher, where relevant) will provide work to support the child’s learning at home and this will be shared with parents/guardians. The majority of parents have already provided an email address at which the school can contact them to support Home Learning. This will be especially important if the school, or parts of the school have to close due to HSE advice. Parents, if you have not already done so, please email ballaghns1@gmail.com if your contact details have changed.

Staff have a statutory obligation to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of their colleagues and other parties. In order to facilitate a safe return to work, these duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
i. Adhere to the School Covid-19 Response Plan and the control measures outlined. The cooperation and assistance of all staff is essential to reduce the risk of spread of Covid19 and to protect health and safety as far as possible within the school. All staff have a key role to play.
ii. Coordinate and work with their colleagues to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.
iii. Make themselves aware of the symptoms of Covid-19 and monitor their own wellbeing.
iv. Self-isolate at home and contact their GP promptly for further advice if they display any symptoms of Covid-19.
v. Not return or attend school if they have symptoms of Covid-19 under any circumstances.
vi. If they develop any symptoms of Covid-19 whilst within the school facility, they should adhere to the procedure outlined above.
vii. Complete the RTW form before they return to work.
viii. Must inform the Principal if there are any other circumstances relating to Covid-19, not included in the form, which may need to be disclosed to facilitate their safe return to the workplace.
ix. Must complete Covid-19 Induction Training and any other training required prior to their return to school.
x. Must be aware of, and adhere to, good hygiene and respiratory etiquette practices.
xi. Keep informed of the updated advice of the public health authorities and comply with same.

  1. Covid related absence management

COVID-19 related absences will be managed in line with agreed procedures with the Department of Education. In the event that teacher is unable to attend school, every effort will be made to secure a substitute teacher for the class. If a substitute teacher is not available, it is not appropriate for the class to be divided into groups and accommodated in other classes. In such circumstances, it may not be possible for the class to attend on that day. If that is the case, as much notice as possible will be given to parents.

  1. Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme
    The Board of Management aims to protect and support the health and wellbeing of all staff (physical, mental, spiritual etc.) both at work, whether in the school facility or at home and outside of work. The Board of Management is mindful that the support and promotion of staff health and wellbeing is particularly important in the current context where the Covid-19 pandemic has caused considerable challenges for, and disruption to, people’s personal, family and social lives as well as their work arrangements.
    The Board of Management aims to foster a culture and work environment that support healthy behaviours and staff wellbeing and shall continue to make health and wellbeing tools and guidance available to staff as well as organising suitable support programmes, initiatives and events. These are challenging times for everyone. Should a staff member experience any stress or anxiety in respect of work or work arrangements, he/she should feel free to speak to the Principal.

Chairperson: Vivienne Barry
Acting Principal: Audrey Nolan
Lead Worker Representative: Deirdre Judge