Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For parents seeking advice see Coronavirus information for parents.

Schools seeking Employee Relations advice see Employee Relations - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Question's

Question

Answer

Where do I go for information on cleaning?

CECV Infectious Cleaning Guidelines

Question

Answer

A student is unwell and has symptoms consistent with coronavirus (COVID-19). The student’s parents/carers are refusing to come and pick them up. What do I do?

If a parent/carer refuses to collect an unwell student, the Regional Leadership Consultant (or Diocesan Education equivalent) should be contacted for further guidance.

Refer to the Health and Safety advice for detailed information on management of an unwell child, young person or staff member.

I’m really concerned about social distancing and seclusion of students. Am I able to require a student to be in a room without other students if their behaviour is unsafe (e.g. spitting, touching others)?

Students must not be secluded in a room or area from which their exit is prevented by a barrier or another person in order to enforce social distancing, in circumstances where students cannot practice social distancing or proper hygiene and cough etiquette. However, students may be moved to different learning environments as they would be at any other time in a school. If a student’s behaviour is presenting an immediate danger for staff and/or other students, staff could elect to evacuate from the room, so long as the student is supervised at a safe distance and their exit is not prevented.

What if a student refuses to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser or follow other direction in relation to COVID-19 risk control measures?

We have students who physically hit, grab and touch staff when their behaviour is heightened. We use all possible means to assist the student to regulate their behaviour but given the learning environment and staff are different these behaviours are continuing. Can I require the student to be picked up by a parent or care giver and not returned to school?

Schools should follow the same actions they normally would do to manage student behaviour, as they do in other contexts. If students don't follow a verbal or visual instruction, other prompting strategies should be utilised.

Schools implementing school-wide positive behaviour support (SWPBS) should already have an expected behaviour and explicit teaching about this or adapt it. Staff should use a pre-correction prompt along with explicit teaching of this behaviour, and as a reactive intervention, use physical prompting.

Staff must ensure that their actions are consistent with the Education and Training Reform (ETR) Regulations that govern the use of restraint in schools, which state that physical restraint can only be used to stop acts or behaviour dangerous to themselves or another person. The physical restraint must also be proportionate to the danger.

If required, request additional support by contacting the relevant Diocesan Education Office.

The school should continue to implement policies in relation to Student Wellbeing and Engagement for those identified students attending school sites during remote and flexible learning in Term 2.
 

Further information on managing challenging behaviours can be found in the Safe and Sound Practice Guidelines and the Positive Behaviour Guidelines.

How can I determine if a child or young person with complex needs is unwell if they are not able to communicate this effectively?

A child or young person’s individual care plan should contain advice to support staff in the assessment and recognition of illness in that child or young person.

 

It is advisable in the first instance to contact the parent or carer to discuss any concerns about the health status of a child or young person. A trained staff member could take the temperature of the child or young person, where appropriate, to support decision making. Gloves should be worn for the purpose of taking a temperature.

Question

Answer

Why do we need to reduce interactions between year levels?

Schools maintain records of student, staff and visitor attendance, which can support contact tracing.

In the event of a positive case being detected within the school community, having an easily identifiable group of staff and students who have or may have come into contact with the case will assist with communication and potential testing. This in turn may assist in reducing the length of time a school is closed whilst contact tracing is undertaken.

School assemblies, Mass and other activities that require interaction of year levels should be cancelled or alternative arrangements made (i.e. remote approaches).

It is not necessary to consider student home situations (i.e. siblings in other year levels) when determining year level segregation. DHHS will determine as necessary if they believe the case has affected more than one year level.

How do I maintain staff ratios on yard duty during staggered recess/lunch breaks (i.e. what to do if you can't

Normal staff to student ratios need to be maintained for yard duties.

If staggering of breaks is not possible due to staffing constraints, consider year level yard segregation.

How do I allocate different areas of the school grounds to different year levels during breaks?

To assist in reduction of interactions between year levels it is advised to allocate areas of the yard for year levels.

It may be useful to have a roster system throughout the week for use of the yard so each year level has an opportunity to use particular areas.

Depending on staff ratios and the size of the school grounds, it may be necessary to group year levels so to still be able to provide a level of reduced interaction between all levels.

How can we reduce staff interactions in the staff room

If possible stagger staff break times to reduce the number of staff that need to access the staff room at one time.

Consider provision of additional areas for staff to have their breaks.

Consider purchasing additional kitchen material (such as microwaves etc.) to reduce the need for staff to access the kitchen. Still be mindful of the need to prevent student access equipment such as kettles or urns in a Primary school setting.

What if parents still need to access the front office?

Ensure clear guidance is given to parents about access to the school site.

 

If parents do need to access the front office consider specifying the time for this to occur (i.e. outside of school drop off and pick up times).

How can we discourage parents congregating at the drop off and pick up gates?

Ensure clear communication is given to parents regarding drop off and pick up arrangements.

Ensure clear signage is displayed at school entrances requesting parents to drop and go.

Consider increased teacher presence at entrance points to assist in quick changeovers and communication with loitering persons.

Consider encouraging car drop offs in “Kiss and drop zones” so parents will not need to leave the car.

 

Ensure parent-school relationship codes of conduct are up to date and available (i.e. on the school website.)

How can I stagger pick up and drop offs and maintain staff ratios?

Consider staggering by year level to allow year level teacher presence.

Siblings of the year level being released are to go along with younger sibling.

 

Consider arrangements for students whose parents cannot make the alternative pick up times (i.e. supervised area).

 

Question

Answer

When should staff be wearing face masks, gloves, aprons etc.? (PPE)

Guidance for use of PPE in an educational setting

An outbreak of respiratory illness has been caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. To date, most people infected are residents of China or people who have recently travelled to China. However new cases, including deaths, are increasingly being reported outside of mainland China.

There have been a limited number of confirmed cases of this strain of coronavirus in Australia to date, including in Victoria.

A coronavirus infection can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Affected people may experience:

  • Fever
  • Acute respiratory infection (shortness of breath or cough)

The World Health Organization has confirmed that the main driver of transmission is from symptomatic patients, through coughing or sneezing. Transmission by people without symptoms is possible, but rare.

Employers have a duty to provide and maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risks to the health of employees. This includes identifying risks to health or safety associated with potential exposure to the coronavirus.

 

Coronavirus Information

CECV recommends obtaining information relating to Coronavirus from the following reputable sources:

 

Department of Education and Training (DET)

The Department of Education has created a Coronavirus advice page with up-to-date information for schools, principals and teachers: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/coronavirus.aspx#link2.

 

Department of Health and Human Services

For general Coronavirus disease information including travel advice: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Information for the public about novel coronavirus: Information for the public - novel coronavirus

Factsheets and posters in English, Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese to support schools and their communities: Information for the education sector - novel coronavirus

 

WorkSafe Victoria

Exposure to coronavirus in workplaces – Safety Alert

 

Department of Health – Australian Government

Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert - Australian Government

 

Smartraveller

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice

 

World Health Organisation

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) video

How to protect yourself against Coronavirus video

Coronavirus Myth busters page

Helping children cope with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak poster

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19

 

Alternative Suppliers – cleaning supplies

Employee Assistance Program

If staff or family members need support or need professional assistance, the Employee Assistance Program through AccessEAP is available on 1800 81 87 28 or (02) 8247 9191. There is also the Principal EAP through Converge International available on 1300 687 327.