UK Boarding Schools have a long and proud history of placing student well-being at the forefront of the student experience. Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, many of our schools have acted strategically, decisively and promptly, to ensure an outstanding level of care and responsiveness.
As the birthplace of outstanding education and innovation, we have an inherent responsibility to demonstrate leadership to the world in our response to the challenges faced in these unprecedented times.
On 10th May, the UK Government announced to the nation the roadmap to ending lockdown. On Tuesday 26th May, the BSA formally announced the BSA Covid-Safe charter. With that in mind, the #safeschools initiative has been set up to allow schools to quickly and clearly communicate to students, parents and their communities the safety measures that will be in place.
The objectives of the initiative are to:
Facilitate our core purpose of education to be continued with minimal disruption
Standardise a minimum level of precautionary measures across U.K. boarding schools
Ensure the safest possible environments for our day and boarding students
Bring the sector together with a strategic and considered approach
Whilst it is impossible to eliminate risk entirely, it is possible for schools to put in procedures and policies that serve to reduce the risk of transmission. Schools who have joined the #safeschools initiative confirm they will implement the BSA Covid-Safe charter.
This means that schools will:
Allow students to wear face masks in school
Undertake temperature checks or thermal scanning regularly for all non-resident individuals
Put in place and ensure appropriate social distancing measures
Ensure appropriate PPE for staff who require it
Provide a suitable isolation area to care for pupils who show symptoms
In addition to the above, #safeschools will commit to some or all of these following additional measures to create further confidence and reassurance in their school:
Request visitors or non-residents who have travelled abroad in the previous 14 days to not enter the school grounds until a period of 14 total days off site has been completed, and to not report to school if symptoms are displayed during that period.
To actively encourage teachers and support staff to wear face masks where appropriate.
To offer or assist all new and returning international students arriving to the U.K. for September with quarantine options for the 14 days prior to term starting, if that period is required and compliant with UK guidelines.
To explore offering single occupancy rooms, or reduce boarders per room, where space and where availability permits.
To provide isolation in school, in a safe environment with 24/7 staff care if symptomatic or suspected of Covid-19.
To remain open at half-term if the 14 day quarantine is still in effect where feasible to do so.
To communicate to parents publicly (and the wider community if necessary) the protocols in place should a member of the school community display symptoms of, or be diagnosed with, Covid-19.
To commit to providing regular and timely updates from the school’s leadership to all parents
Completion of a medical declaration for all non-resident individuals.
To ensure provision where possible for students who cannot join school in September or October 2020 (due to travel restrictions or other Coronavirus challenges) to undertake online learning until January 2021, before then arriving in school.
The following schools have committed to signing up to the Safe Schools UK initiative:
The following guardian organisations and other key sector organisations have committed to signing up to the Safe Schools UK initiative: