School Return Imminent – Is Classroom Cleaning on The New Timetable?
As homes across the UK prepare to send their youngsters back to the classroom in a more structured and thorough way on Monday March 8th, just how prepared are our schools for the heightened level of hygiene demands?
Of course, for the vast majority of schools and academic institutions, it’s worth recognising that there has been at least ‘some’ pupil attendance throughout the pandemic, but the newly announced date will see far higher numbers in corridors, classrooms, playgrounds and sports halls.
If we’re to keep the virus circulation level lower, and prevent spread from children to families or staff, it will be imperative that all educational establishments adopt a rigorous ‘clean culture’.
Last year, the Department of Education provided Covid-19 guidance, emphasising that schools should implement ‘enhanced cleaning’, paying particular attention to aspects of the school environment like door handles, desk surfaces, devices, play equipment.
This sits alongside such measures as maintaining ventilation where possible, emptying bins regularly, encouraging hand-washing, and limiting the sharing of items among pupils.
We now also know that the plan is to see students wearing face masks – where they are able to do so – for greater periods of time than had previously been the case.
As a company, Orca Hygiene have worked closely with a number of schools and colleges since the first lockdown, providing advice on the use of various hygiene products, and suggesting cleaning protocols for specific areas and activities.
Key, as we count down toward this much wider ‘reopening’ is, in our opinion, to develop a robust cleaning plan, and to make sure all staff and parents are fully aware of what you’re introducing (or enhancing) and why.
Communicating your intentions will help all adults and children develop a sense of community and responsibility about keeping self, and others, safe at all times.
Given the few remaining weeks before the full return date, we also suggest adopting a more thorough school clean ahead of March 8th.
Before the classrooms and learning spaces become so much busier, it would be pertinent to rota a team – or contract externally – to carry out a deeper clean using cleaning supplies like our surface and floor disinfectants.
Now is also an opportunity to recalculate the number of dispensers you may feel are necessary for the entire school population. Our hand sanitiser stations contain 5 litres of product and are really simple to refill when necessary. Their very presence at key footfall areas helps to remind staff and youngsters that it is ‘on them’ to stay clean and hygienic at all times.