The COVID Symptom Study for School Communities

Good practice Planning and Preparation Specialist activities and visits Specific Hazards

The COVID Symptom Study is a not-for-profit initiative run by health science company Zoe with scientific analysis provided by King’s College London, endorsed by the UK, Welsh and Scottish Governments. It includes a COVID Symptom Study for School Communities.  Getting involved in this has the following benefits:

  • schools receive daily Covid insights for their students that enable more informed and rapid decision-making to help keep them safe;
  • information is shared with children and their parents, reassuring parents and helping children to complete their education safely;
  • the data contributes to critical national scientific research into the impact of COVID on children and younger people.

We have updated OEAP National Guidance document 4.4k Coronavirus to include information about the study, including how you can join.

You can download the document here.

Using External Providers

Good practice Must Read Planning and Preparation

We have amended OEAP National Guidance document 4.3b Ratios and Effective Supervision to clarify that, if staff who are not competent or confident are taking part in an activity, the activity leader may need to regard them as participants when considering the leader to participant ratio.

OEAP National Guidance Document 4.4h Using External Providers provides advice about activities led by a provider.  We have amended that advice to add the same point.

Providers and Refunds

Good practice Legal Framework Legal Framework and Employer Systems Planning and Preparation Specialist activities and visits Specific Hazards

Many providers are now making promises of refunds or postponement if a visit cannot go ahead as a result of Covid-19, which will hopefully encourage establishments to begin planning again for educational visits.  Where a promise has been made, you are encouraged to check that the promise is included in the terms and conditions of the contract and/or insurance policy.  We have updated National Guidance documents 3.2i Contracts and Waivers, 4.4c Insurance and 4.4k Coronavirus to draw attention to this.

We have also amended 4.4k Coronavirus to increase the prominence of the reasons why you should be encouraging more of your learning to take place outdoors during the pandemic, and to add more details about the current restrictions on school sport.

The Package Travel Regulations

Good practice Legal Framework Legal Framework and Employer Systems Planning and Preparation Specialist activities and visits Specific Hazards

During the coronavirus pandemic, some schools have been concerned that package travel organisers have been unwilling to give a refund as their contract was between the company and the school, rather than made directly with participants or their parents.  The Competition and Markets Authority has recently taken the view that the Package Travel Regulations do apply in these cases, and that individual customers should be entitled to a refund if they have paid money in advance for a group visit that is cancelled because of the pandemic.

We have updated 3.2h Visits and the Package Travel Regulations, 3.2i Contracts and Waivers, and 4.4k Coronavirus in the light of this, and included a link to what the Competition and Markets Authority said.

Foundations and Good Practice

Basic Essentials Good practice Must Read Planning and Preparation

We have fully revised and updated four documents that are fundamental to National Guidance: 1b Foundations, 1c Status, Remit and Rationale, 4.3a Good Practice – the Basics and 4.3c Risk Management – an Overview.

Alongside this we have deleted document 5.2b “Planning Basics” because its content is covered in the other four documents, and because document 3.3e Checklist – Visit Leader provides a comprehensive prompt for visit planning with links to useful documents across National Guidance.

First Aid

Good practice Planning and Preparation

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Government has temporarily modified the requirements for first aid qualifications in Early Years Foundation Settings.  We have therefore updated the National Guidance document 4.4b First Aid to refer to that.

We have also taken the opportunity to update the guidance about ensuring that any medication is within its expiry date, and about recording and reporting.

You can download the revised document here.