As teachers, school staff and children begin to prepare for returning to school in September, it can be a challenge to make sense of which policies need revising and which new policies need adding. Without a system in place to simplify the process of updating and adding new policies to reflect COVID-19, this may seem like a daunting task to tackle. However, with Every, these processes are made easy and stress-free.
As well as checking that current policies are up to date, what should schools be doing to ensure they have an understanding of the implications of not making sure policies reflect the latest guidance that has been put in place, and what are the consequences of not distributing these to staff in time for the return to school?
In this blog, we will guide you through some of the latest policies schools should adopt in order to make sure they are compliant, as well as how this is made easy with Every’s Policies and Documents module. From safeguarding to managing premises during and after COVID-19, we will detail some of the things you can add to your system and how Every can support you along the way by simplifying this process.
The importance of ensuring your policies and documents are up to date to reflect latest advice surrounding COVID-19
With teaching professionals steadily returning to the school environment, it is especially important that policies are reviewed to reflect the most up to date guidance to make sure the school and the staff within it are compliant with the latest regulations and industry best practice. To guide the day-to-day processes within a school, here are some questions to bear in mind:
- Do our current policies reflect the latest government guidance? You can find out more information about which key policies need revising by visiting GOV.UK. When looking through each of your policies, take the time to make sure they are clear and specific and have a think which audience you are targeting for each policy and whether they will be able to understand and follow it when it gets distributed
- How will people within the school be notified of changes to current and new documentation? With Every’s Policies and Documents module, you have the ability to distribute policies, risk assessments and general documentation with the touch of a button. With this module, you can also evidence document read rates with electronic signatures, preventing any disputes within the school as this enables you to keep track of who has and hasn’t read a policy. The best part is that all your documents are centrally located on our cloud-based software, meaning you can quickly access each document and which stage it is currently at i.e. waiting for approval from someone within the school
- What can I do for effective infection control? Standard ways to maintain effective prevention control include making sure staff are up to date with the precautions they must take to ensure they are limiting the spread of germs.
One of the simple measures staff should be doing is frequent handwashing – for at least 20 seconds with hot, soapy water – and sanitising where a hand-washing facility is not available. We recommend distributing a checklist to your staff of what they should and shouldn’t be doing when it comes to preventing the spread of germs within a school
The implications for teachers, children and young people of not having up to date policies
There can be serious and potentially damaging implications if schools do not take the time to review and update their current policies where necessary. These implications could result in causing harm to children and young people within the school if schools do not take measures to make sure they are keeping safe.
- Having outdated policies may put your school at risk as it can mean you are not compliant with changes in laws and regulations
- Clear policies support the school with its day-to-day processes and prepare you for any emergencies. In the event where you need to take emergency procedures, your staff may be misinformed with what they should be doing, resulting in harm coming to staff or children
- Making sure you have distributed your most up to date policies means there is no miscommunication between staff when it comes down to how they should be doing their job within the school
Using Every’s Policies and Documents module, you have the comfort of knowing that if any changes need to be made to policies, that you can do this quickly and efficiently in one central place. Along with saving you time, this module provides you with a stress-free experience when it comes to updating and distributing documentation within your school. If you’re a MAT, you have access to a RAG (Red, Amber or Green) dashboard where you can quickly see a document’s status and investigate where schools are not up to date. If you find a school is not up to date, you can send reminders out to staff to encourage them to complete their document tasks in order to avoid non-compliance.
Key policies that need updating to reflect the changes in guidance
From returning to work safely to social distancing, it’s fair to say it can be a daunting task to update and distribute each of your policies to all staff within a school, especially when returning after a pandemic. This is where we come in. Here are some examples of policies that you could review in-time for September:
- Safeguarding children Ensuring children and young people are being safeguarded is one of the main priorities when returning to school, and it is the school’s duty to make sure children and young people are safe and able to work safely and to the best of their ability while under your care
- Supporting the health of returning workers what are you doing to ensure the safety of staff within the school? From ensuring the classrooms are properly ventilated, to making sure each member of staff has the appropriate work station in order to work safely
- Maintaining health and safety when returning to school what policies and guidelines have you distributed across the school to maintain the safety of children and staff?
- Effective infection, prevention and control take a look at our Infection, Prevention and Control Training course for more information about how you can limit the spread of infection when in a workplace environment, and the measures you can take to make sure your staff are keeping themselves and others around them safe
- Actions to take if a child shows symptoms of coronavirus in the event a member of staff notices that one of the children within the school has begun to show symptoms of COVID-19, what measures should you take to ensure the child is safe and is not spreading germs to other children?
With Every, you also have the option to create user groups for different departments or groups of people. By doing this, you can save copious amounts of time when it comes to distributing documents to a variety of staff as you no longer need to manually select them.
Using Every to support your return to school during and after COVID-19
All the documents you need to make the return to school as simple as possible are easily accessible remotely through Every’s cloud-based system. With our Policies and Documents module, distributing documents to staff can be done quickly and efficiently, enabling your staff to save time from sitting in meetings as instead, they can access documents from the comfort of their desk.
With Every, you have access to a cohesive system to make each of your processes more efficient. Most importantly, Every has been designed with the user in mind so the system is as easy to use as possible, yet still contains every piece of information needed to ensure schools can manage their compliance requirements at the touch of a button.
Interested in finding out more about how Every can help you manage your overall compliance requirements when returning to school? Click here to book your free demo with a member of the team.
If you would like to share your story about how Every is supporting you through COVID-19, whether you have returned to school or continue to work from home, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get in touch as soon as we can!
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See how you can easily distribute the current version of important documents to groups or individual staff to be read and acknowledged from one central location. Speak to a member of the team today and see how Every’s Documents and Policies module can support your school.
- Easily distribute policies to groups or individual staff to read and accept
- Quickly view statistics to prove policies have been accepted and send read reminders at the click of a button
- Automatically publish current version to your school or trust website