COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of
Post Primary Schools
Trinity Comprehensive School
Approved by the Board of Management on 20.08.20
Table of Contents:
- School COVID-19 Policy
- Planning and Preparing for Return to School
- Induction Training
- Procedure for Returning to Work (RTW)
- Lead Worker Representative (LWR)
- Display signage
- Making changes to school layout
- Update Safety and Risk Assessment
- Access to the School and Contact Log
- Control Measures – To prevent Introduction and Spread of COVID-19 in Schools
- Know the Symptoms of COVID-19
- Respiratory Hygiene
- Hand Hygiene
- Physical Distancing
- Use of PPE in Schools
- Hygiene and Cleaning in School
- Dealing with a suspected case
- Staff Duties
- Absence Management
- Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme
- The role of the LWR
- Risk Assessment
- Contact tracing Log template
- COVID-19 Trinity Comprehensive School is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our students. 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 and students on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie
- display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand-washing techniques
- inform all staff and students of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements
- adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the public health guidance and direction of the Department of Education
- keep a contact log to help with contact tracing
- ensure staff and students 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 students 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: ____________________ Date: _____________________
2.Planning and Preparing for Return to Trinity Comprehensive School
- The Lead Worker Representative (role outlined below) will be responsible for keeping up to date with the latest COVID-19 public health advice and pass on this information in a timely manner to staff, students, parents and others as required;
- The Principal will ensure that all staff have reviewed the training materials provided by the Department of Education
- Management will provided staff with access to the Return to Work (RTW) form prior to them attending work
- Two Lead worker representatives have been appointed to work in collaboration with the employer to assist in the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of COVID -19 and monitor adherence to those measures and to be involved in communicating the health advice around COVID-19 in the workplace.
- Posters and other signage have been displayed to prevent introduction and spread of COVID-19
- Changes have been made to the school layout to support the redesign of classrooms to support physical distancing. Each year group will have their own designated area and classroom.
- Unnecessary clutter has been removed to facilitate ongoing cleaning of the school.
- The health and safety risk assessment has been updated to reflect the procedures due to COVID.
- Students have separate entrances and exits that are supervised (by year group) and a log has been set up at the entrance of the school in order to restrict access to the school and maintain records of contacts to the school
- The following checks have been carried out by the school caretaker:
- The water system has been flushed out to prevent Legionella disease;
- School equipment and mechanical ventilation has been checked for signs of deterioration or damage before being used again;
- Bin collections and other essential services resumed.
- Control Measures – To prevent Introduction and Spread of COVID-19 in Schools
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, students, parents and visitors as far as possible within the school. The control measures shall continue to be reviewed and updated as required on an ongoing basis.
It is critical that staff, students, parents and visitors are aware of, and adhere to, the control measures outlined and that they fully cooperate with all health and safety requirements.
To Minimise the Risk of COVID-19 in Trinity Comprehensive School:
We will promote awareness of COVID-19 symptoms by signage and educating our students and teachers.
- Staff and students will be notified by our School APP, website and facebook page that if they have symptoms not to attend school, to phone their doctor and to follow HSE guidance on self-isolation;
- Staff and students will be advised not to attend school if they have been identified by the HSE as contact for a person with COVID-19 and to follow the HSE advice on restriction of movement;
- Staff and students that develop symptoms at school will be advised to bring this to the attention of the principal (or deputy principal if the principal is unavailable) promptly;
- Induction will be carried out by the teachers and students will take part in an induction on their first day to ensure that staff and students know the protocol for managing a suspected case of COVID-19 in school.
- Each year group will have a designated entrance and exit door.
- Sanitiser pumps have been placed on every corridor, in every classroom and reception area so that everyone entering the school building performs good hand hygiene with a hand sanitiser;
Students/ staff will be encouraged to perform hand hygiene:
On arrival at school;
Before eating or drinking;
After using the toilet;
After petting animals;
After playing outdoors;
When their hands are physically dirty;
When they cough or sneeze.
- Visitors to the school during the day should be by prior arrangement with the principal and should be received at a specific contract point; This will be communicated to the school community by posting on our various communication platforms.
- Systems have been put in place to ensure that Physical distancing of 2 metres is maintained between staff and visitors where possible.
- Classrooms will be covid cleaned 3 times a day.
- Students will stay in their base class for the majority of the day except for option classes. Option classes will be divided into class pods
Students will eat their lunch in a designated area in their class group.
- Face masks and Visors will be worn by students, teachers and all of the school community.
4.Hygiene and Cleaning in Schools
- Each school setting will be cleaned at least once per day.
- Frequently touched surfaces – door handles, hand rails, chairs/arm rests, communal eating areas, sink and toilet facilities will be cleaned regularly during the day.
- Staff will 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.
- Staff will be provided with and use and clean their own equipment and utensils (cup, cutlery, plate et
- If students are moving between classrooms consideration may be given to appropriate cleaning products being provided to enable them to wipe down their desk, chair and surface before leaving the room.
Cleaning/Disinfecting rooms where a student/staff member with suspected COVID-19 was present
- Rooms will be cleaned as soon as practicable possible.
- Once the room is vacated the room will not be reused until it has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry.
- Once the room has been cleaned and disinfected and all surfaces are dry, the room can be reused.
5.Dealing with a Suspected Case of COVID-19
A designated isolation area has been identified within the school building. A contingency plan for dealing with additional cases put in place. The designated isolation area is behind a closed door and away from other staff and students.
If a staff member/student displays symptoms of COVID-19 while at school the following are the procedures to be implemented:
- If the person with the suspected case is a student, the parents/guardians will be contacted immediately;
- The person will be isolated and a procedure is in place to accompany the individual to the designated isolation area via the isolation route.
- The isolation area does not have to be a room but if it is not a room it should be 2m away from others in the room;
- A mask will be provided for the person presenting with symptoms if one is available. He/she will wear the mask if in a common area with other people or while exiting the premises;
- The individual who is displaying symptoms will be assessed and will immediately be directed to go home/be brought home by parents and call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home;
- If the person is well enough to go home, arrangements will be made for them to be transported home by a family member, as soon as possible and advise them to inform their general practitioner by phone of their symptoms. Public transport of any kind will not be used;
- If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, we will contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick person is a COVID-19 suspect;
- An assessment will be carried out of the incident which will form part of determining follow-up actions and recovery;
- Appropriate cleaning will be arranged of the isolation area and work areas involved
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 COVID-19 is made. The instructions of the HSE should be followed and staff and student confidentiality is essential at all times.
- Staff have a statutory obligation to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of their colleagues and other parties.
- 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.
- In this regard and in order to facilitate a safe return to work, these duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Staff will adhere to the School COVID-19 Response Plan and the control measures outlined.
- Complete the RTW form before they return to work.
- Will 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.
- Will complete COVID-19 Induction Training and any other training required prior to their return to school.
- Must be aware of, and adhere to, good hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Coordinate practices and work with their colleagues to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.
- Make themselves aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 and monitor their own wellbeing.
- Self-isolate at home and contact their GP promptly for further advice if they display any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Not return to or attend school if they have symptoms of COVID-19 under any circumstances.
- Adhere to the procedure outlined above if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 whilst within the school facility. .
- Keep themselves informed of the updated advice of the public health authorities and comply with same.
7.COVID-19 related absence management
The management of a COVID-19 related absence will be managed in line with agreed procedures with the Department of Education.
8.Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme
The Department recognises the need for school staff wellbeing and collective self-care. Support for school staff wellbeing will be provided by Department Support Services including the PDST and CSL, as well as by the HSE’s Health Promotion Team. An Occupational Health Strategy is in place as a supportive resource for individual staff members in schools. The aim of the Occupational Health Strategy is to promote the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace, with a strong focus on prevention. The Occupational Health Strategy comprises the Employee Assistance Service and the Occupational Health Service. The Employee Assistance Service (EAS) is provided by Spectrum.Life under the logo of ‘Wellbeing Together: Folláinne Le Chéile’.
Under the EAS, employees have a dedicated free-phone confidential helpline 1800 411 057 available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year providing advice on a range of issues such as wellbeing, legal, financial, mediation, management support etc. Where required, short-term counselling is available to employees and their families (over the age of 18 years and living at home). A bespoke wellbeing portal and app which offers access to podcasts and blogs on topics around wellbeing and mental health, family life, exercise and nutrition is also available. In addition online cognitive behavioural therapy is provided. As part of the services provided by Spectrum.Life a Mental Health Promotion Manager is available to develop and deliver evidence based mental health and wellbeing initiatives to reduce stigma and improve mental health literacy and to increase engagement with the service. They will also be providing a series of webinars and presentations to promote staff wellbeing in schools as schools reopen and during the upcoming school year.
9.The role of the LWR is to:
- Represent all staff in the workplace regardless of role, and be aware of specific issues that may arise in respect of different staff cohorts;
- Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 public health advice;
- Work collaboratively with school management to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19;
- Consult with school management on the control measures required to minimise the risk of staff and students being exposed to COVID-19;
- Promote good hygiene practices, in conjunction with school management, such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with public health advice;
- Assist school management with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace in line with the Return to Work Safely Protocol and current public health advice;
- Monitor, in conjunction with school management, adherence to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
- Conduct reviews of safety measures that are in place to address and suppress COVID-19 in the workplace. Reviews (including an examination of the workplace) should be conducted on a regular basis (at least twice per week);
- Report any issues of concern immediately to school management and keep records of such issues and actions taken to rectify them;
- Consult with the school management on the school’s COVID-19 Response Plan in the event of someone developing COVID-19 while in school including the location of an isolation area and a safe route to that area;
- Following any incident, assess with the school management any follow up action that is required;
- Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace;
- Make representations to school management 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, control measures or the adherence to such measures by staff, students or other s/he should contact the LWR/s who will engage with the Principal/ETB.
|Names of Lead Worker Representative/s:||Contact details:|
|Ms. E. Quinn & Ms J. Henry||01-8428356|
All staff, students, 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.
|Hazards||Is the hazard present? Y/N||What is the risk?||Risk rating
(When all controls are in place risk will be reduced)
|Is this control in place?||Action/to do list/outstanding controls
*Risk rating applies to outstanding controls outlined in this column
|Person responsible||Signature and date when action completed|
|COVID-19||N||Illness||H||School Covid19 Response Plan in place in line with Department of Education guidance and the Return to Work Safely Protocol and public health advice||
Follow public health guidance from HSE re hygiene and respiratory etiquette
Complete School COVID-19 Policy Statement
Return to Work Forms received and reviewed
Undertake Induction Training
Maintain log of staff, student and visitors
Complete checklists as required:
How to deal with a suspected case
Physical distancing requirements
Other school specific checklist
Policies in place
If there is one or more High Risk (H) actions needed, then the risk of injury could be high and immediate action should be taken. Medium Risk (M) actions should be dealt with as soon as possible. Low Risk (L) actions should be dealt with as soon as practicable.
Risk Assessment carried out by: Date: / /
11.Contact Tracing Log
|Name of School||Trinity Comprehensive School||School Contact Person|
|Address of School||Main Street, Ballymun, D9||For Queries only:
|Name of Visitor||Was the visit pre-arranged with the Principal?
Yes o No o
|Date of Visit||__ __ / __ __ /________||Time||Entry
to school __________ am o pm o
from School __________ am o pm o
|Visitor Status||Contractor o||Parent/Guardian o||Other o Please complete: _______________________________________|
|Contact details of visitor||Company Name
|Contact No.||Email Address|
|Reason for Visit|
|Who the visitor met (separate line required for each person the visitor met)|
|Name of Person visited||Length of time spent with each person in the school|