Since 23rd March 2020 The Seeds of Change UK Ltd have continued to welcome those learners who were deemed “vulnerable” by the government and have continued to work with commissioning bodies to enable continuation of education in our settings whilst following guidelines issued by the government in their Guidance for Educational Settings on 22nd March 2020.
In September the government compiled guidance for educational establishments to support ALL children to return to education and this policy is covered by the guidance for the full opening of schools document https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak?utm_source=28%20October%202020%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19
This document is updated regularly and will be following a return to full lockdown from January 5th, 2021.
This is the principle documentation that we refer to for direction, but in addition we have taken additional steps as we have seen fit, following our own risk assessment and to meet the unique requirements of our own educational establishment and to offer maximum protection to our learners and our staff.
In the event that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 or any of our staff or pupils are suspected of contracting the disease then we will follow the guidance from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/928841/Symptomatic_children_action_list_SCHOOLS_FINAL_22-10.pdf
Or the additional requirements of any local authority that we currently work for wherever possible.
We have and continue to maintain social distancing to ensure our workplaces are as safe as possible for all of our learners and our coaching team and during this time have revised and amended the following procedures and work practices.
- Our Risk Assessment for both delivery sites
- Our Safeguarding Policy
- Our Learner Induction Procedures
- Our Student Partnership Agreement
- Our Curriculum & Support Offer
- Our working arrangements, timetables and daily structure
We are fortunate that much of our work is outside and therefore supports the 1m social distancing guide. We are re-arranging the layout of our internal spaces to adhere to the at least 1m working rule and as a result of this will be working with smaller group sizes, being 1 coach to 3 learners rather than 2 coaches and 6 learners.
This change will ensure that we can reduce the social contact but also work in multiple locations on site rather than in 1 larger group. This will mean workstations and zones where learners will still have access to all resources but will move around during the day.
Arrival on Site:
We have strict drop off and pick up points the will be marshalled during arrival and collection times and will ensure that congestion at key times is minimised. Learners will be escorted onto site by coaches and taken straight to a hand wash station where they will be asked to confirm that they are in good health and that they are not aware of anyone else in their home displaying signs of Covid 19.
We take the temperature of all staff and learners attending site with a non-contact thermometer and if their temperature exceeds 37.8 C they will be asked to leave the site.
Everyone will be asked if they or anyone in their household is exhibiting signs of COVID-19 and if so they will be asked to leave site.
All temperatures are recorded daily.
When testing equipment becomes available, we may also ask for a test to be carried out.
Regular hand washing will take place throughout the day and antibacterial gel will be used between tasks when hand washing is not possible. Full details of our health and safety procedures can be found in our Risk Assessment Document attached to this Protocol.
There will be a range of PPE for learners and coaches to make use of if they feel more comfortable with using this. This will include masks and gloves which can be worn, but should not be used in place of hand washing or other general hygiene procedures. At the end of the day these should be disposed of or bagged for cleaning / disposal as appropriate.
All staff and learners will be asked to wear face coverings when inside or in communal areas.
Induction to Site & Student Partnership Agreement
There will be a re-induction to site for all learners the first time they return to the centre or for new learners on their first visit. This will include a briefing about the ways that we propose to keep everyone safe, followed by a request for them to read and sign a Student Partnership Agreement.
There is a copy of this agreement attached to this document. It is in addition to the document that we ask all students to sign when they begin a programme with us, but the new section relates specifically to COVID-19.
Students who do not observe the 1m rule will be asked to leave the site if they represent a risk to others. We will take any breech seriously and will contact referral bodies to collect the young person from site if this situation occurs.
We will take similar action should other procedures not be followed relating to student and employee safety.
Curriculum and Support
Since September we have regularly monitored the adherence to COVID-19 procedures and reviewed them as necessary. This has resulted in us hiring an additional person to ensure deep cleans at the end of a coaching day in Northampton where learner numbers are higher.
- To support the wellbeing of our work force
- To focus upon the issues that many learners may present with upon returning to an educational environment.
Primarily this is the therapeutic support that many are likely to require having been absent from structured learning for a period of time. The trauma associated with many of the issues that COVID-19 may have had upon them and the preparation for emerging out of lockdown.
Whilst it is very much our intention to return those who are studying towards a qualification to some form of routine that was present before, we primarily want to support mental and physical wellbeing and therefore priority will be given to offering this in the first instance.
As we head into another lockdown we will be communicating with schools and external referral bodies to notify them that it will be our intention to remain open and to offer a variety of external outreach services to maintain contact with those learners who cannot get to us in person.
We will ensure that our learners return to an environment that supports them emotionally to come to terms with their experiences & to reflect upon them. We will help them to develop strategies to come to terms with these experiences and then to move forwards out of lockdown and to emerge in a stronger place, better able to cope with the world around them.
At The Seeds of Change our ethos has always been to focus on the learners and to help them to overcome their barriers to learning and progress in their lives in the future. We are fortunate to have the best co-coaches to enable us to do this – the HORSES.
Horses offer us a unique opportunity to work with young people to deliver learning that is transferable. At this time the horses once again will help all of us to emerge from this crisis better equipped and more resilient to face the world around us and we can all learn from their unique wisdom and calm.
For any questions or additional information around our COVID-19 Policies please contact:
The Seeds of Change
Unit 9, Manor Farm
Beds MK16 9JS