Risk Assessment and Action Plan for September 2020 Full Reopening

Cardinal Hume Catholic School

Action Plan and Risk Assessment

Updated July 16th July 2020

Click Here to download a copy of our Action Plan and Risk Assessment

Please Note: This risk assessment is reviewed regularly and is subject to change. 


This risk assessment is underpinned by government guidance on Covid-19:

It is the school’s plan that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low and there are negative health impacts of being out of school. For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus (COVID-19). Whilst it is not possible to ensure a totally risk-free environment, the Office of National Statistics’ analysis on coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths linked to occupations suggests that staff in educational settings tend not to be at any greater risk from the disease than many other occupations. There is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults.

Public health advice to minimise coronavirus (COVID-19) risks:

Schools must comply with health and safety law, which requires them to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures. Schools should thoroughly review their health and safety risk assessments and draw up plans for the autumn term that address the risks identified using the system of controls set out below. These are an adapted form of the system of protective measures that will be familiar from the summer term. Essential measures include:

  • a requirement that people who are ill stay at home
  • robust hand and respiratory hygiene
  • enhanced cleaning arrangements
  • active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
  • formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable

How contacts are reduced will depend on the school’s circumstances and will (as much as possible) include:

  • grouping children together
  • avoiding contact between groups
  • arranging classrooms with forward facing desks
  • staff maintaining distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible


Risk Management Government Guidance School Actions Responsible Review
Mitigation against the spread of coronavirus 1) minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school Pupils, staff and other adults must not come into the school if they

·         have coronavirus symptoms

·         have tested positive in the last 7 days

Anyone developing coronavirus symptoms during the school day will be sent home.

If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home and advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’, which sets out that they must self-isolate for at least 7 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

All staff made aware of the procedure for removing and isolating a pupil who develops symptoms.

If a child is awaiting collection by parents, they will be moved to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door and the room given as much ventilation as possible.

Where direct adult supervision is necessary, a two-metre distance will be maintained. If a distance of two metres can not be maintained, suitable PPE will be used (see PPE section).

If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they will use a separate bathroom. The bathroom will be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.

As is usual practice, in an emergency, 999 will be called if someone is seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk

2) clean hands thoroughly more often than usual


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an easy virus to kill when it is on skin. This can be done with soap and running water or hand sanitiser. School will ensure that pupils clean their hands regularly, including when they arrive at school, when they return from breaks, when they change rooms and before and after eating. Regular and thorough hand cleaning is going to be needed for the foreseeable future and the following measures are in place to ensure this can be managed in school:

·         Hand sanitiser station fitted in every classroom and several fitted in other areas of the school.

·         Pupils made to sanitise hands at the start of every lesson, at the end of any lesson before break/lunch and at the end of the school day.

·         Pupils will be permitted to bring their own hand sanitiser to school.

·         Pupils can request to use the toilet during lesson time and toilets areas supervised throughout the day.

·         After a visit to the toilet, all pupils will wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

·         Pupils/staff must wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and running water or use hand sanitiser after any contact with someone who is unwell.





3) ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach The school will ensure that they have enough tissues and bins available in the school to support pupils and staff to follow this routine.


All pupils will be encouraged to bring their own tissues to school.


The routine will be made explicit to all students and staff with a) clear and regular reminders in briefings/tutor time and b) through school signage.






4) introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents and bleach


The school is putting in place a cleaning schedule that ensures cleaning is generally enhanced, with a team of cleaners now working throughout the school day:

·         more frequent cleaning of rooms/shared areas that are used by different groups; cleaning of each teaching room will occur 10-12 times per day during the course of the school day.

·         frequently touched surfaces will cleaned more often than normal; a full team of cleaners will routinely clean an allocated section of the school throughout the school day.

·         toilets will be cleaned more regularly, and pupils encouraged to clean their hands thoroughly after using the toilet.

·         The area around any person with symptoms will be closed to other staff/pupils and cleaned thoroughly after they have left.

·         Cleaning staff will be provided with the following PPE: mask, gloves and apron.

·         Cleaning materials will be available in every classroom for use by any member of staff who wishes to use them.

·         Pupils will be permitted to bring surface wipes from home to use on desks at the start of lessons.

  • The use of computers is essential in the delivery of the curriculum in some subjects. Alcohol-based surface wipes will be available in all rooms with computers and pupils will be required to sanitise them after they have been used. The cleaning schedule will also be further enhanced with computers sanitised directly after use, whenever possible.






Gateshead Local Authority





All Staff

5) minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible


The schools will do everything possible to minimise contacts and mixing while delivering a broad, ambitious and balanced curriculum. As far as possible, and where practical, groups will be taught separately, and pupils/staff required to maintain a safe but realistic distance from other people.

Teachers and other staff will operate across different classes and year groups in order to facilitate the delivery of the school timetable, with the following actions designed to minimise contacts between individuals:

  • As far as possible, teachers will be based in a fixed room and pupils will move to them for lessons. This will allow: a) adequate specialist resourcing b) teachers available at fixed duty points to supervise pupil movement c) pupils to be fully supervised in classrooms and public areas throughout the day d) adults to avoid movement to a wide range of areas of the school.
  • Shorter lessons of 45 minutes are necessary to allow staggered changeovers.
  • Strict and clear one-way system for distanced movement between lessons.
  • Morning registration time extended to allow a staggered start to the day.
  • Common setting across Key Stage 3 will mean that all pupils are in a consistent group for all lessons; the maximum teaching group size in Years 7, 8 and 9 will be 32.
  • Lunchtimes will be staggered, ensuring that only a single year group will have lunch at any one time. Therefore, the school will operate year-group sized ‘bubbles’. All students will be encouraged to maintain their distance from others in all non-structured parts of the day.
  • At key stage 4 and key stage 5, the group size will be restricted to the size of a year group to enable the school to deliver the full range of curriculum subjects and to ensure students receive specialist teaching.
  • Contacts between individuals from different year groups, for instance during lesson changeover, will be minimised and not exceed 15 minutes in length.
  • All classrooms will be arranged so that they are forward facing, in areas where this is possible
  • Teaching delivery style will be distanced and from the front of the class whenever possible. Pupils will use exercise books, folders and specialist resources. There will be restrictions on resource use in practical subjects. Additional safety measures in place during lessons are outlined in the document ‘Cardinal Hume Catholic School Guidelines for Socially Distanced Teaching’.
  • The number of staff on duty in public areas throughout the day will be vastly increased.
  • School signage will be greatly enhanced to support distanced pupil movement around school.
  • Large gatherings, such as assemblies, will be modified to ensure that they are reduced in size, involve single year-groups only and, where possible, delivered remotely.
  • The school will limit interaction between year groups and ensure rooms are only used by pupils from year group at a time.
  • Staff will inevitably teach different classes and year groups. They will keep their distance from pupils as much as they possibly can.
  • Meetings between staff will be limited and socially distanced by 2 metres.
  • While passing briefly in the corridor or playground is low risk, the school will avoid creating busy corridors, entrances and exits. As such, up to 15 minutes of each lesson will be dedicated to safe and staggered pupil movement.
  • Shared staff spaces will be reorganised to allow for socially distanced interactions
  • Phased reintroduction 1-10th September will be used to a) give key messages to pupils/staff and b) test the newly-introduced systems in safe and measured way
  • Changes to the school behaviour policy are necessary to ensure pupils’ conduct themselves safely. These will be communicated regularly to staff and pupils and rigidly implemented.

























6) where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)


The school’s process for removing face coverings on arrival at school will be clearly communicated and more bins in place for their safe disposal:

·         Pupils must be instructed not to touch the front of their face covering during use or when removing them.

·         They must wash their hands on arrival (as is the case for all pupils).

·         They must dispose of temporary face coverings in a covered bin

·         They must place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can take home with them, and then wash their hands again before heading to their classroom.

PPE will be well stocked and replenished regularly, as necessary. Staff made aware of the occasions when PPE should be used in school.

All cleaning staff will be provided with PPE and required to wear it throughout the school day.

Please see the PPE matrix for information about when PPE should be used.





Numbers 1 to 4 must be in place in all schools, all the time.

Number 5 must be properly considered and schools must put in place measures that suit their particular circumstances.

 Number 6 applies in specific circumstances.

Response to infection 7) engage with the NHS Test and Trace process


Staff and parents/carers should understand that they will need to be ready and willing to:

·         Book a test if they are displaying symptoms

·         Provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with if they test positive or if asked by NHS Test and Trace

·         Self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who develops symptoms or someone who tests positive for COVID-19

If any member of the school community has been tested, staff or parents should inform school immediately of the results.

If a test is negative, the person can stop self-isolating, along with the members of their household.

If someone tests positive, they need to follow the ‘stay-at-home’ guidance



8) manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community


As soon as school becomes aware of a positive test result for COVID-19, we will contact our local health protection team.  Likewise, will contact school if they become aware of a positive test of someone who has attended school – as identified by Test and Trace.

The health protection team will carry out a rapid risk assessment to advise us on any actions which need to be taken.

If the health protection team advise that individuals or groups of pupils need to be sent home to self-isolate, we will implement this advice swiftly.

The school will keep a record of who has had contact within year group ‘bubbles’.



9) contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice


If school has two or more confirmed cases within 14 days, this indicates a possible outbreak.

We will work with our local health protection team/PHE and follow their advice in relation to:

·         Full or partial closure

·         Further enhancement to protective procedures in school


Numbers 7 to 9 must be followed in every case where they are relevant.

Curriculum and Catch-up The curriculum should remain broad and ambitious: all pupils continue to be taught a wide range of subjects, maintaining their choices for further study and employment. ·         Full curriculum timetable planned with adjustments to lesson times, grouping and the school day to mitigate against Covid-19.

·         Pupils taught in specialist rooms with subject specialists and grouped strategically to allow them to be taught in line with their ability.

·         No reduction has been made to the curriculum offer but lesson time will be reduced and access to some specialist resources limited.

·         Plan in place to ensure pupils catch up, ideally by the summer term of 2021. Catch-up funding dedicated to offering additional and enhanced provision.






Pupil attendance


Education is not optional: all pupils should receive a high-quality education that promotes their development and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. ·         Resume robust systems for the tracking and tackling of pupil absence

·         Additional support in place to ensure those anxious about the return to school are able to attend fully

·         In rare instances, where it is deemed that absence from school is necessary, remote learning opportunities will be considered.

Contingency planning for further closure through localised lockdown or school outbreak Remote education, where needed, should be quality and align as closely as possible with in-school provision


·         Staff training in place and technology developed for any future need for remote learning.

·         In the event of full closure, partial closure, or if any groups need to work from home in line with ‘stay at home’ guidance, those affected will then receive education remotely.

·         We will continue to build our capability to educate pupils remotely, where this is needed.



Pupil interactions before and after school









Face coverings are required at all times on public transport for children over the age of 11.

The school is limited in what it can do to mitigate against transmission outside of school time. However, we will ensure that pupils are educated about the risks and the steps they can take to keep themselves and others safe.

·         High standards of uniform retained so that they are more easily identified outside school.

·         Key principles communicated regularly: ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’, handwashing, minimising contacts.

·         Work closely with public transport providers to plan safe use of bus services

·         Transport survey provided to parents; findings used to plan additional transport needs.

·         Pupils encouraged to avoid use of public transport if possible.

·         See PPE section for the schools approach the the disposal/storage of used face masks on entry to school.









Catering, lunch and break arrangements



Non-contact periods (Sixth Form only)

·         Our catering service is provided by Gateshead LA and will resume their service in September 2020.

·         The catering team has assessed the risks and adapted the catering service to limit the number or contacts. This has resulted in a reduced and limited menu.

·         The school has made adaptations to lunch arrangements and timings for pupils so that only a single year-group eats at one time.

·         Enhanced cleaning will take place  between sittings.

·         Year groups will have break/lunch time together. Dining time will be restricted to 15 minutes. Time in larger spaces will be up to 45 minutes and pupils will be encouraged to keep their distance from other individuals and follow a ‘don’t touch others’ approach.

·         An additional serving station is being installed to allow for further distancing between pupils.


Year 12 and 13 will be assigned to distinct areas of the school as follows:

·         Year 13: Sixth Form Hall

·         Year 12:  Sixth Form Work Room,  Common Room and part of Street closest to those rooms.

They will occupy those areas at any times when they are not in lessons or in tutor rooms,  that is:

·         Break

·         Lunchtime

·         Directed Study Sessions

·         Lessons not allocated to teaching or Directed Study – in effect these will become additional Directed Study Sessions.

Although some brief contact between Year 12 and 13 will be inevitable on entry on exit from sixth form areas and during circulation between lessons this will be minimised by the arrangements for movement around the school.  Students will be encouraged to keep a safe distance and adopt a ‘don’t touch others’ approach.


The possibility for contact between Year 12 and 13 during lunchtime will be minimised by the following arrangements for cafeteria use:

Lesson 4:  First half Year 12; second half Year 13.

Lesson 5: First half Year 12; second half Year 13.


Gateshead LA







Gateshead LA















Communication ·         INSET days 1st and 2nd September 2020 will be largely dedicated to staff training in relation to the plans for reopening the school to all pupils.

·         Staggered reopening plan for pupils from 3rd to 9th September will be used to educate pupils on the changes to school systems and ensure a gradual and measured approach before the full curriculum is resumed.

·         This risk assessment will be reviewed and amended fortnightly and communicated through the school website.

·         The school’s Governing Board, and the Board of Trustees for the Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust will be involved in agreeing changes to the school’s approach.

·         The school are in regular contact with Public Health England.

·         The school receives and responds to regularly changing government guidance (e.g. Coronavirus Daily Updates)









Fire drill and escape ·         It is recommended that, where possible, rooms are given extra ventilation; this can be achieved by opening more doors and windows.

·         In the event of a fire alarm, pupils will be instructed to ignore the one-way system and exit by the nearest escape, maintaining a distance from others as far as possible.

·         Teachers will be briefed on the importance ensuring doors are closed as they leave during a fire a drill.

·         Some external fire escapes will be used to facilitate distanced movement around school. Designated staff will check that all of these escapes are securely closed after each use.

Visitors in school and other events ·         Room capacity reduced and social distancing and additional hand sanitising in place for any meetings for external visitors.

·         Annual events involving visitors, which would ordinarily take place in September and October, have been largely postponed. Events later in the year will be kept under review.

Risk assessment

Employers must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect staff, pupils and others from coronavirus (COVID-19) within the education setting. As part of planning for full return in the autumn term, it is a legal requirement that schools should revisit and update their risk assessments (building on the learning to date and the practices they have already developed), to consider the additional risks and control measures to enable a return to full capacity in the autumn term. Settings should also review and update their wider risk assessments and consider the need for relevant revised controls in respect of their conventional risk profile considering the implications of coronavirus (COVID-19). Schools should ensure that they implement sensible and proportionate control measures which follow the health and safety hierarchy of controls to reduce the risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level.


Cllr. T. Graham

Chair of Governors



Mr. B. Robson

Acting Head Teacher

Back to all posts