DPS COVID-19 Information Page
Please bookmark this page and revisit on a regular basis for updates from the School in respect of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Current School Status
Following the summer holiday period, Ditcham Park School is due to open to all pupils from Monday 6th September, and to all staff from Thursday 2nd September 2021. For Visitor and Parent Guidance / Information click here
The School has successfully steered its way through the Covid-19 “storm” since the first national lockdown in March 2020. This has been achieved because of the wholehearted co-operation of our School community, and their compliant (and often patient) adoption of our “Covid-19 Safety First” protocols.
Although the English Government lifted all remaining social contact restrictions on July 19th, we remain committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our pupils, staff and visitors as we navigate the new academic year 2021-22. The School will therefore continue to take all appropriate steps to ensure that the School site is Covid-secure for those who work or learn here.
The School’s will continue to dynamically assess and update its current Risk Register for Covid-19. Prior to the re-opening the School for the Autumn term, the September 2021 Covid-19 Risk Assessment will be published to the Downloads section below.
From September 2021, our School’s “Control Measures” will be based on the UK Government’s guidance and recommendations as follows:
1. Ensure good hygiene for everyone
- Hand hygiene. Frequent and thorough hand cleaning will continue to be regular practice. The School will continue to ensure that pupils clean their hands regularly. This will be done either with soap and water, or with hand sanitiser.
- Respiratory hygiene.The “catch it, bin it, kill it” approach will continue to be very important and will be observed by all.The e-Bug COVID-19 website will be accessed for free resources to encourage good hand and respiratory hygiene for all our pupils.
- Use of personal protective equipement (PPE). Most staff in School will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, but the School will ensure sufficient stocks of PPE are maintained at all times to account for personal preferences and possible local or site outbreaks. Guidance on the use of PPE in education, childcare and children’s social care settings provides more information on the use of PPE for COVID-19.
2. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard products such as detergents.
- The School will continue to maintaining an appropriate and enhanced cleaning schedule. This will include regular cleaning of areas and equipment with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces.
- PHE has published guidance on the cleaning of non-healthcare settings. The School will continue to monitor and adhere to this guidance.
3. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
- When in operation, the School will ensure it is well ventilated, whilst maintaining a comfortable teaching environment.
- The School will identify any poorly ventilated spaces as part of its Covid-19 September 2021 risk assessment and take steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas, giving particular consideration when holding events where visitors such as parents are on site (eg:school plays).
- Mechanical ventilation is a system that uses a fan to draw fresh air, or extract air from a room. The School will adjust these to increase the ventilation rate wherever possible and will check in advance of term (to confirm) that normal operation meets current guidance and that only fresh outside air is circulated.
- Where possible the School will adjust systems to full fresh air or, where this is not possible, operate the systems as normal where they are within a single room and supplemented by an outdoor air supply.
- Where mechanical ventilation systems exist, the School will ensure that they are maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- The School will encourage the opening of external windows to improve natural ventilation, and in addition, the opening internal doors to assist with creating a throughput of air. If necessary, external opening doors may also be used (if they are not fire doors and where safe to do so).
- The School will always balance the need for increased ventilation with the requirement to maintain a comfortable temperature.
- The Health and Safety Executive guidance on air conditioning and ventilation during the coronavirus outbreak and CIBSE COVID-19 advice provides more information. The School will continue to monitor this information.
- The School is aware that the DfE is working with the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and NHS England on a pilot project to measure CO2 levels in classrooms and exploring options to help improve ventilation in settings where needed. The School will ensure it remains up-to-date with the DfE’s latest recommendations in this respect.
4. Follow PHE / NHS Test & Trace or Local Health Protection Teams’ advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
When an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test.
- Pupils, staff and other adults will be required to follow PHE advice on when to self-isolate and what to do. They should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).
- If anyone in the School develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, the School will require them to return home and they should follow public health advice.
- For everyone with symptoms, pupils and staff will need to avoid using public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household.
Guidance and Information for parents and visitors
The School anticipates it will re-open its doors fully to visitors, including parents, from September 2021. However, in order to maximise the School’s Covid-secure status, all visitors, including parents, will be asked to observe the following modified School Covid-19 protocols:
- All visitors, including parents attending appointments or meetings with staff at school, should report to the Main School Reception upon arrival without exception. This is so the School can continue to actively engage with the NHS Test and Trace Scheme, a record of your visit and its purpose will be made for this reason.
- The School will continue to actively engage with the NHS Test and Trace scheme and all visitors will be encouraged to use the School’s on-site QR code.
- All parents / visitors on site, unless exempt, should bring a face mask with them when in the School buildings. In situations where a schoolroom or facility becomes crowded and visitors and/or staff are in close proximity to others outside of their normal circle of school contacts, they may be asked to apply a face covering by the School.
- All parents / visitors (or staff) who wish to voluntarily wear a face covering when moving in and around the school may do so.
- All parents / visitors (and staff) are encouraged to use the plentiful hand sanitiser stations located throughout the School.
- Where possible, only one parent / carer per family should enter the site for drop off and pick up.
- We are offering asymptomatic lateral flow testing for all Senior School pupils and all school staff.
- All pupils aged 11 and over, and any adults, using the School-Home transport system, or the School’s own minibuses, are asked to follow the UK Government’s recommendation to wear a face covering for the duration of their journey.
Actions the School will follow for a symptomatic pupil:
Parents are advised that, as a minimum, the School will follow the updated Government guidance for pupils or staff that exhibit symptoms of Covid-19 whilst at School. Useful Senior & Junior specific info-graphics are provided below in the Downloads Section below or please refer to “Control Measures” above.
Parents and Pupils are asked to note the Covid-19 addendum to the School’s Behaviour Rewards and Sanctions Policy. (See Downloads Section Below).
Asymptomatic Testing at Ditcham Park School
The School offers twice-weekly rapid lateral flow device tests to all secondary pupils and all school staff. Our bus drivers and contract cleaners are also undertaking LFD testing. Testing will recommence for Senior pupils in advance of their return to school on 6th September 2021. Testing for Staff on-site remained in place during the Summer holiday and will continue (at home) on a twice-weekly basis until further notice.
DPS Covid-19 Information and Downloads