Boarding schools introduce new safety measures for returning pupils

The Boarding Schools’ Association has published a new charter, which includes guidance for keeping staff and students safe

Boarding schools across the country have signed up to the Boarding Schools’ Association Covid-safe charter as they welcome pupils back to classrooms for the first time in months.

The charter was published on 26 May, ahead of the partial re-opening of schools in England.

Those BSA members which adopt the voluntary charter confirm they will comply with all government regulations and BSA guidance.

Before re-opening, charter-complying schools agreed to deep-clean their premises, implement regular testing procedures, allocate space to isolate and care for any pupils who fall ill and open a 24/7 out-of-hours contact hotline for international pupils and their parents.

Charter schools have also agreed to reduce occupancy levels across all facilities to a safe level, introduce hand sanitisation stations, guarantee PPE for staff performing roles that require it, and conduct temperature checks on all pupils, staff and visitors.

Ashville College’s headmaster Richard Marshall said the new BSA guidance helped his team prepare.

Ashville College in Harrogate is one of the schools to adopt the charter. The school’s headmaster Richard Marshall said: “The health and safety of our pupils and staff is our number one priority, hence us signing up to the BSA’s Covid-safe charter.

“By doing this, we are sending out a clear signal that we are doing everything in our power to minimise any risk of infection for the returning year groups.

“An extensive risk assessment has been undertaken, and detailed plans are now in place, giving parents the reassurance, they rightly need to confidently send their sons and daughters back to Ashville.”

The school has re-opened to reception, year 1 and year 6 pupils – and will welcome year 10 and lower-sixth pupils back to campus on June 15.

Scarborough College, Milton Abbey, Taunton School, Lancaster Royal Grammar, Rishworth School and Rossall School have all announced the adoption of the safety guidelines.

Schools have undertaken a deep and thorough assessment of their school grounds – including new fire evacuation methods. The new BSA charter encourages schools to test these new methods shortly after students return. Schools are also undertaking enhanced daily cleaning procedures.

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