Support and guidance for schools during COVID-19 (Cases of COVID-19 in Educational Settings and LFD Testing in Education Settings)

Purpose

To ensure that all MK schools and settings understand and follow the processes for:

  • managing confirmed cases of COVID-19 in MK
  • carrying out asymptomatic LFD testing

Advice

Step 4 COVID guidance

Our local health protection team have created a short briefing PPT which summarises key parts of the guidance for you.

We recommend that you engage with this as soon as possible and share it widely with staff in your school or setting. You may also like to share parts of it with parents to support their understanding.

MK process for managing cases of COVID-19

The local process that must be followed in relation to cases of COVID-19 has changed because of the new Step 4 guidance.

The process is outlined on an updated flowchart for educational settings. Please note that you should still report all confirmed cases of COVID-19 using the online form, as embedded within the flowchart.

There is also a flowchart for parents and carers. (attached PDF here)

Outbreak management plans

All schools and settings need to have an Outbreak Management Plan in place so that they can ‘step up’ their control measures if required.

As outlined in the contingency framework, the ‘stepping up’ of  measures will be required when the following thresholds have been met:

  • 5 or 10% (whichever is reached first) test-confirmed cases of Covid-19 within 10 days, among students or staff clustered in a consistent group or cohort

OR

  • Evidence of severe illness e.g. students or staff members admitted to hospital or a death as a result of a COVID–19 infection

In these situations, MK Public Health colleagues will work with you to consider introducing temporary measures such as bubbles, face masks and social distancing to prevent further spread of the virus. You must therefore continue to keep accurate records of positive Covid-19 cases in staff and students.

You may find these outbreak management plan templates helpful:

Requesting support

You should contact the DFE National Helpline (0800 046 8687) in the first instance for any general concerns, support, or issues. Doing this will mean that you get the help you need whilst local Public Health colleagues are left free to focus on the work outlined below.

For support and guidance relating to managing outbreaks, you can contact our Local Public Health Team by emailing C19SettingsandSchools@milton-keynes.gov.uk.

You can also email public.health@bedford.gov.uk for general support, including over weekends and out of hours.

Please remember to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 using the online form

Key Education Contacts

To support you, we’ve established a Key Education Contact List (PDF, 33KB) for all MK schools.

If it’s necessary to establish an Incident Management Team (IMT) to support your school in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, your KEC will be part of this.

Suspected cases

You do not need to report these.

Asymptomatic LFD testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff

All households with children of school age can continue to test themselves twice a week at home. Twice weekly testing is also offered to staff and adults working in the wider school or setting community (including bus drivers and after school club leaders).

Further details on how to accessing testing can be found on the NHS asymptomatic rapid lateral flow website.

Last Updated: 7 September 2021