Updated 9th December
COVID-19 Worker guidance – December 2021
On 8th December the Government announced that England will move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant, Connex Education has amended our policy to apply to all staff with immediate effect.
If you travel abroad, you will be required to show a negative PCR or lateral flow test before your return. You must take the test in the 2 days before you travel to England.
You must also take a PCR test within 2 days of arriving and self-isolate until you get a negative test result, even if you’re fully vaccinated.
If you travel abroad the above requirements must be followed and you must inform Connex Education, Connex Education will not consider you for placements until you have received a negative test result.
Please be aware that if you are required to self-isolate or quarantine after travel you are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Use of face coverings
Unless exempt you must wear a face covering in shops and on public transport. Face coverings should be worn in communal areas of universities, colleges and schools by staff, visitors and pupils or students in year 7 and above. In addition you must follow the individual policies within education settings with which you are placed as directed.
Vaccinations are currently available for everyone aged 16 or over.
It is not compulsory to have been vaccinated to work within schools, all staff should though be aware that those who are vaccinated are subject to different rules in the event of contact with someone COVID-19.
People aged 40 to 49 can now get a booster vaccine 6 months after their second dose.
Additionally, anyone 16+ with a health condition that places them at greater risk from COVID-19.
Ventilation of education settings
It remains important to ensure that education settings are well ventilated and that a comfortable learning environment is maintained. You should balance the need for increased ventilation while maintaining a comfortable temperature.
You must ensure that in line with school policy you ensure you and pupils maintain personal care and wash hands regularly and use sanitiser. This will normally include:
- On arrival at the school
- On return from breaks
- when changing rooms
- before and after eating
Frequent and thorough hand cleaning should be regular practise for staff and pupils.
When to self-isolate
This guidance has been updated to reflect changes to self-isolation requirements for contacts of people who have been identified as a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. You must stay at home and self-isolate even if you are fully vaccinated.
If you are required to self-isolate due to contact with a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, as with other contacts requiring you to self-isolate, the full isolation period must be observed even if a negative test result is returned within this period.
Self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test as soon as possible if you have any of these 3 symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
You should also self-isolate straight away if:
- you’ve tested positive for COVID-19
- someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive (unless you are not required to self-isolate – check below if this applies to you)
- you’ve been told to self-isolate following contact with someone who tested positive
When you do not need to self-isolate
- you’re fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
- you’re taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
- you’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
However, if you live with or have been in contact with someone who may have the Omicron variant of COVID-19, this does not apply, and you’ll still need to self-isolate.
How long to self-isolate
If you test positive, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had the test, if you did not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days. You may need to self-isolate for longer if you get symptoms while self-isolating or your symptoms do not go away.
If you cannot work because of coronavirus (COVID-19)
You could get SSP if you are self-isolating because:
- you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19
- you have been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19
- someone in your support bubble has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
- you’ve been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery
If eligible for SSP you will receive £96.35 per week in line with SSP Government SSP rules.
Support and resources
Teachers can access the free https://www.minded.org.uk/ , which contains materials on peer support, stress, fear and trauma, and bereavement.
MindEd have also developed a coronavirus (COVID-19) staff resilience hub with advice and tips for frontline staff. https://covid.minded.org.uk/
Updated 9th December 2021
Connex Education Partnership continues to closely monitor all guidance in relation to COVID-19 from Public Health England, the DfE in relation to the management of risk and specifically the education sector. Following the Government move to Plan B on 8th December Connex Education has updated our COVID-19 policies.
Our approach to the provision of temporary education staff will continue to follow the changing guidance with the express aim of protecting our staff and the education settings in which they work.
Provision of temporary workers (placements or interviews)
We clearly communicated with our workers the requirement for them to follow government guidelines on managing their personal risk of infection and the requirements for them to notify us in relation to their own personal circumstances.
In the event of one our temporary workers being required to self-isolate worker file will be placed on Temporary Block for the appropriate period. On return from a period of self-isolation workers will be required to confirm that their isolation period has not been extended as a result of a positive test or the development of symptoms.
Each time our staff accept an assignment with Connex Education Partnership they are provided with a link to our staff policy.
Current COVID-19 protocols in line with guidance
- No assignments offered during period of self-isolation
- In the event of the worker having worked on assignment in the 10 days prior to diagnosis the clients concerned will be informed immediately
- Observe self-isolation protocols including required tests prior to return to England, A PCR test within 2 days or return and self-isolate until they receive a negative result
When on assignment our staff are required to follow the individual policies of the education establishment or as directed by permanent staff on site. Connex Education Partnership is happy to assist in providing client policies to temporary staff prior to their arrival.
Subject to change.
We are committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of our agency workers and supporting the efforts of our partner education settings to protect their staff and pupils as far as is reasonably practicable. The information in this policy and provided to our staff is subject to change without notice in line with Government guidance.