OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools From 18 August 2020 - Independent Schools Victoria

 
OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools From 18 August 2020 - Independent Schools Victoria
OPERATIONS GUIDE
Victorian Government Schools
From 18 August 2020
Updated: 18 August 2020
OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools From 18 August 2020 - Independent Schools Victoria
© State of Victoria (Department of Education and Training) 2020

2       OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020
OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools From 18 August 2020 - Independent Schools Victoria
CONTENTS

For all Victorian Government Schools ..................................................................................... 4

School operations for the remainder of Term 3 ................................................................... 4

Requirements for on-site supervision ...................................................................................... 5

Staffing arrangements .................................................................................................................. 5

Advice on further staffing matters – all schools.................................................................. 6

Operating model ............................................................................................................................... 8
  1.       Home provision ......................................................................................................................................... 8
  2.       Home and on-site learning programs ...................................................................................... 8
  3.       Access to teaching and learning resources for students at home ...................... 8
  4.       Health and safety measures ........................................................................................................... 9
        4.1      Physical distancing.......................................................................................................................... 9
        4.2 Temperature checks ...................................................................................................................... 9
        4.3 Face coverings in schools ........................................................................................................... 9
        4.4 Other health and safety measures .................................................................................... 10
        4.5 Required actions for suspected cases of
            coronavirus (COVID-19) in staff.............................................................................................. 10
  5.       Child safety, reportable conduct and duty of care
           in remote learning environments .............................................................................................. 10
  6.       Mental health and wellbeing ......................................................................................................... 10
  7.       Other school and curriculum settings ......................................................................................11
  8.       Camps, playgrounds and facilities .............................................................................................11
  9.       Sport and recreation ............................................................................................................................11
  10. Visitors to schools, interschool activities and school tours ......................................11
  11.      Maintenance, construction and building upgrades .......................................................11
  12.      Cleaning ........................................................................................................................................................12
  13. Personal hygiene products ..............................................................................................................12
  14. School buses for on-site students ..............................................................................................12
  15.      School Breakfast Club Program ..................................................................................................13
  16. Outside School Hours Care .............................................................................................................13
  17.      Access to devices ...................................................................................................................................13
  18. Work across multiple sites ...............................................................................................................13
  19. Contacts .......................................................................................................................................................13
Appendix 1: Health and safety advice for on-site schooling
in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19) ..............................................................................14

                                       OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020                                                                                 3
OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools From 18 August 2020 - Independent Schools Victoria
FOR ALL VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

School operations for the remainder                      •   vulnerable children, including:
                                                             o children in out-of-home care
of Term 3
                                                             o children deemed vulnerable by a
The Victorian Government has made a series of                   government agency, funded family or family
significant announcements, in line with advice                  violence service, and is assessed as requiring
from the Chief Health Officer about restrictions to             education and care outside the family home;
help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19):
                                                             o children identified by a school as vulnerable,
•   Since Sunday 2 August, Stage 4 restrictions are             (including via referral from a government
    in place across metropolitan Melbourne.                     agency, or funded family or family violence
•   Since Wednesday 5 August, Stage 3 restrictions              service, homeless or youth justice service or
    are in place throughout regional Victoria,                  mental health or other health service);
    including Mitchell Shire.                                o children with a disability and the family is
                                                                experiencing severe stress.
Remote and flexible learning in place
                                                         Severe family stress
across Victoria
                                                         As per above, under provisions for vulnerable
Since 6 August All Victorian government schools          children, principals will contact parents/carers
have transitioned to remote and flexible learning        to discuss appropriate arrangements where
for the remainder of Term 3, with the exception of       the family is experiencing severe stress due to
specialist schools in regional Victoria.                 the functional impact of the child’s disability
Any child enrolled in a specialist school in regional    on providing care and supervision for remote
Victoria will be able to continue to attend. Any         and flexible learning (including via referral from
parent of a child enrolled in a specialist school in     external agency, mental health or other health
regional Victoria who wishes to keep their child at      service).
home can do so, and, where possible, the school          In these instances, school/s will take a
can provide learning materials and activities for        collaborative family-centred approach to
the child to undertake at home.                          determine appropriate on-site attendance
On-site supervision is available at all schools in       arrangements for children with disability.
limited circumstances as outlined below.                 This will seek to address the severe stress families
                                                         are experiencing and be consistent with the
On-site supervision                                      intent that on-site supervision is to be provided in
Metropolitan Melbourne                                   limited circumstances only to limit the movement
                                                         of people across metropolitan Melbourne as far
On-site supervision is available for students in the
                                                         as possible as part of efforts to slow the spread of
following categories, based on revised criteria:
                                                         coronavirus (COVID-19).
•   children whose parents and carers are
    permitted workers who cannot work from home          Regional Victoria
    and where no other arrangements can be               On-site supervision is available for students in the
    made.                                                following categories, based on revised criteria:
    o Where there are two parents/ carers, both          •   children whose parents and carers cannot work
       must be permitted workers, working outside            from home and where no other arrangements
       the home in order for their children to be            can be made
       eligible for on-site provision.
                                                             o Where there are two parents/ carers, both
    o For single parents/ carers, the permitted                 must be working outside the home for their
       worker must be working outside the home in               children to be eligible for on-site provision.
       order for their children to be eligible for on-
                                                             o Single parents/ carers must be working
       site provision.
                                                                outside the home for their children to be
                                                                eligible for on-site provision.

4         OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020
OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools From 18 August 2020 - Independent Schools Victoria
•   vulnerable children, including:                       Staffing arrangements
    o children in out-of-home care
                                                          Specialist schools in rural and regional Victoria
    o children deemed vulnerable by a
       government agency, funded family or family         Principals, teachers and staff will be required
       violence service, and is assessed as requiring     to attend for duty at their school in accordance
       education and care outside the family home;        with normal arrangements, making necessary
       or                                                 adjustments to support physical distancing
                                                          between adults.
    o children identified by a school as vulnerable,
       (including via referral from a government          This does not preclude school-based
       agency, or funded family or family violence        arrangements to permit staff to work from home
       service, homeless or youth justice service or      where this is compatible with the circumstances
       mental health or other health service); or         of any individual school. This includes
    o any child with a disability.                        arrangements such as merged classes, where
                                                          this can be managed within the health guidelines.
                                                          This decision must be made by a principal using
Requirements for on-site                                  the consultative arrangements agreed at the
supervision                                               school. The principal must be assured that:
All schools, except specialist schools in                 •   meeting such a request will not compromise
regional Victoria                                             their capacity to provide on-site learning for
• Schools should provide on-site attendance                   as many students as may attend on any given
    forms to families requiring on-site supervision           school day
    so they can indicate the days/ part-days that         • it is reasonably practicable for the teacher
    will be required, to enable schools to plan for           or teachers to work from home (including
    adequate resourcing. Forms for Metropolitan               the use of a reliable, safe and secure
    Melbourne schools are available here. Forms               digital environment).
    for Regional Victoria schools are available here.     In implementing such arrangements, the
• The Students at Risk Planning Tool can assist           principal, teachers and staff have a joint and
    schools to identify students who may be               shared responsibility, through local consultative
    vulnerable and require supports to maintain           arrangements, to ensure that to the fullest
    engagement and connection with education.             extent possible a fair and equitable share of
• The learning program delivered on-site will be          the workload involved in supporting on-site
    the same as the learning program delivered to         learning is maintained, noting that the principal
    students undertaking remote learning.                 retains full authority for the management of the
• Students learning on-site will be supervised            school workforce.
    by school staff on-site but follow the teaching       These arrangements can be extended to members
    and learning program provided by their                of the principal class providing the above
    classroom teacher.                                    conditions are met, in particular for the school to
• Students attending on-site must be supervised           be managed at an appropriate level of seniority
    at all times by staff with either current Victorian   for a full school day.
    Institute of Teaching (VIT) registration or
                                                          All schools (except specialist schools in rural and
    a Working with Children Check. Education
                                                          regional Victoria)
    Support staff can provide direct support to
    and supervision of students, provided they            It continues to be the principal’s responsibility
    have access to support from a VIT-registered          to make the school-based decisions required
    teacher.                                              to deliver Government education objectives
                                                          in accordance with the Victorian Government
• The guide to absence coding is available on
                                                          Schools Agreement 2017.
    the Promote and Manage Student Attendance
    page.                                                 Where teachers and support staff are not required
                                                          on-site, they must work from home.
                                                          Where possible, school leadership should be
                                                          represented on-site. Principals will need to ensure
                                                          that there are sufficient staff on-site to run the
                                                          school’s teaching and learning programs.
                                                          Principals should consult their staff to identify
                                                          those willing and able to work on-site, either in
                                                          an ongoing or rostered basis. They should ensure
                                                          staff are consulted on, and have input into, the
                                                          ways work may be organised and allocated.

                    OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020                                   5
Staff work hours at home should be consistent                on-site where there are compelling personal
with the attendance arrangements already                     compassionate grounds pertaining to
in place at each school, and determined in                   that employee.
accordance with the school’s local consultative
arrangements.                                            Advice on further staffing matters –
Schools should communicate these hours of work           all schools
to parents/carers and indicate that teachers
and support staff are not required and will not          School staff access to on-site supervision
necessarily be available to students or families/        and childcare
carers outside these hours.
                                                         Metropolitan Melbourne
Staff working from home, including teachers and          • staff working on-site to support a school’s
education support staff, will not visit or work in         supervision program are able to have their
students’ homes.                                           children attend their usual school for those
Working alone or in isolation from others presents         days they are working on-site, where they are
hazards of which employees should be made                  single parents/ carers and where both parents
aware, including impacts on mental wellbeing.              are permitted workers who must work on-site
Principals and school staff are encouraged to              and cannot work from home and no other
develop a program of regular contact with staff            arrangements can be made.
who are working from home.                               • school staff working on-site and working from
Departmental policy and guidelines can be found            home have access to childcare as permitted
on HRWeb.                                                  workers, where no other arrangements can be
                                                           made.
On site staffing requirements may vary
between schools and may change over time as              Regional Victoria
attendance varies.                                       • staff working on-site to support a school’s
                                                           supervision program are able to have their
If it is necessary to identify which staff are to work
                                                           children attend their usual school for those
on-site either for a specified day or days or as part
                                                           days they are working on-site, where they
of a roster to meet the above requirements, the
                                                           are single parents/ carers and where both
school should follow procedures determined at the
                                                           parents cannot work from home and no other
school using the school’s consultative procedures
                                                           arrangements can be made.
or in the absence of local arrangements the
following process should be used:                        • childcare and kindergarten remain open as
                                                           usual in regional Victoria.
a. The principal will notify all staff they are
                                                         • Further advice is available on the DHHS
   seeking volunteers to be available to work on-
                                                           website.
   site for a specified day or days or as part of
   a roster.                                             Casual relief teachers and pre-service
b. If there are insufficient volunteers, Casual          teacher placements
   Relief Teachers (CRTs) should be engaged.
                                                         •   Schools may need to engage CRT staff to cover
   If insufficient CRTs are available, the principal
                                                             staff absences and ensure sufficient staffing
   should approach their Senior Education
                                                             on-site to meet requirements. If principals are
   Improvement Leader (SEIL) to establish if
                                                             concerned about cost pressures or a forecast
   any staff from other schools in the network
                                                             deficit budget position, please contact the
   are available.
                                                             School Financial Management Support Unit for
c. Where it has been identified through (a) and              support or advice:
   (b) above, that there are insufficient staff to           schools.finance.support@education.vic.gov.au
   meet the needs of the school, the principal               or (03)7022 2222
   will provide an opportunity for the employees
                                                         •   Schools in stage 3 restricted areas should
   to provide reasons why they should not be
                                                             continue to receive and accept applications
   considered for work on-site for a specified day
                                                             for pre-service placements to ensure pre-
   or days or as part of a roster.
                                                             service teachers are able to meet graduation
d. The principal will take into account the overall          requirements. Pre-service teachers can attend
   work needs of the school and the submissions              schools on-site. For more information, visit
   from individual employees in accordance with              the pre-service teacher placements during
   (c) above in determining which staff will be              coronavirus (COVID-19) web page. An example
   required to work on-site for a specified day or           of the support that a pre-service teacher can
   days or as part of a roster.                              provide during remote and flexible learning
e. The principal will make every effort to ensure            is available here: How final year pre-service
   that an employee is not identified to work                teachers can help you.

6        OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020
•   Pre-service teachers may not attend on-             •   Services will be delivered both remotely
    site at schools under Stage 4 restrictions              and onsite to ensure that services that are
    in Metropolitan Melbourne. The amended                  required onsite can still be delivered based on
    permitted worker directions no longer allows            operational requirements and the service that
    for pre-service placements on-site in Stage 4           needs to be provided.
    restricted areas. Schools with placements that      •   Schools will also continue to have access to a
    have already commenced in Stage 4 areas                 dedicated Regional Health and Wellbeing Key
    should contact People Division email or phone           Contact (HWKC) for the rest of the school year.
    for further advice. Schools in Stage 4 areas are
                                                        •   For further advice, see the Coronavirus
    encouraged to continue placements where a
                                                            (COVID-19) — Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion
    pre-service teachers can work remotely.
                                                            Workforces page in the Policy and Advisory
                                                            Library.
Staff who may be medically vulnerable
•   Advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer is   Reimbursement of Casual Relief Teachers
    that, as with other members of the community,
                                                        (CRTs) travel and accommodation costs
    teachers and other school staff may be at
    greater risk of more serious illness if they        •   To increase the pool of available CRTs in
    contract coronavirus (COVID-19) if they are:            regional schools, the Department of Education
                                                            and Training (the Department) is trialling a
    o aged 70 years and older
                                                            process of reimbursing regional schools for CRT
    o aged 65 years and older and with chronic              costs of travel/mileage and accommodation.
        medical conditions.                                 This trial will run initially from 3 August 2020 to
    o of any age and have a compromised                     18 September 2020.
        immune system                                   •   Schools will be responsible for the payment of
    o Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and are         the CRT’s salary. This arrangement will apply
        aged over 50 years and with one or more             to schools designated by the Department as
        chronic medical conditions.                         ‘regional’. A list of eligible schools can be found
•   Staff who are medically vulnerable should               here. It will not apply to schools within the
    seek advice from their medical practitioner in          metropolitan Melbourne area.
    relation to their on-site attendance. Where the     •   Claims for reimbursement of travel/mileage and
    employee is unable to work either on-site or            accommodation costs may be made by schools
    remotely, they can access personal leave by             that engage CRTs either via an agency or as
    providing a medical certificate.                        school council employees. The Department
•   Similarly, staff who are living with or caring          has advised the agencies of the trial period,
    for elderly or chronically ill relatives should         the eligible schools and the reimbursement
    seek advice from the medical practitioner               criteria. Where the reimbursement criteria have
    of the person for whom they are caring to               been met, the schools are to lodge the claims
    determine if they can attend on-site or should          via the Schools Targeted Finding Governance
    work remotely. They should provide a medical            (STFG) Portal.
    certificate if they are seeking to access           •   More information about the reimbursement
    personal leave.                                         process and criteria can be found here.
•   The Medical Advisory Service is a specialised
    support service for principals to help them         Working from Home Allowance
    fulfil their responsibilities in relation to        •   Employees will receive the working from
    employee health.                                        home allowance.
                                                        •   The allowance is $20 per week for home office
Health Wellbeing and Inclusion                              consumables and utilities. This $20 per week
Workforces - Service Provision in Schools                   will be paid on a pro-rata basis based on an
•   Regional Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion                employee’s time fraction.
    Workforces (HWIW) will continue to provide          •   Employees on any type of leave (paid or
    support to schools, students and parents/               unpaid) will not qualify for the payment, until
    carers. These comprise:                                 their leave ends and they commence or resume
    o Student Support Services (SSS)                        working remotely.
    o Primary and Secondary School Nurses
    o Visiting Teachers
    o Koorie Engagement Support Officers
       (KESOs)
    o other region or area-based staff whose key
       role is to provide support to schools.

                    OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020                                 7
OPERATING MODEL

1.    Home provision                                        o For students in Years 3 to 6 and Years 7 to
                                                               10, schools will provide learning programs
•    The parent or carer is responsible for students’          allocated as follows:
     general safety at home or elsewhere.
                                                               – Literacy: 45-60 minutes
•    Students and parents/families should be given
     clear information about how and when they will            – Numeracy: 30-45 minutes
     receive learning materials and feedback.                  – Physical activities: 30 minutes
•    Schools will create and communicate a                     – Additional curriculum areas: 90 minutes
     schedule or calendar that shows what is            •   Where appropriate, for students with disability
     expected of students in relation to the                and students in specialist schools who may
     completion of learning tasks.                          be ungraded, teachers will be guided by age-
•    For students with a disability, students in out-       equivalent daily minimum guidelines, with
     of-home care and Koorie students, schools              consideration of the student’s stage of learning
     and the parents/ carer should continue to              and individual education plan.
     work together via the Student Support Group        •   English language schools and English language
     (maintaining a current Individual Education            centres, Tech schools, KIOSC and Maths and
     Plan (IEP)) to identify and plan responses for         Science Specialist Centres should offer remote
     areas of need.                                         learning opportunities.
•    Principals and school staff must:                  •   Where international students are living in
     o identify risks that are reasonably                   a homestay arrangement, the school may
        foreseeable for students who are learning           need to provide additional welfare support
        at home                                             to those students, given their particular
     o take reasonable steps that are in the                vulnerabilities living apart from their family, in a
        school’s control to prevent reasonably              foreign country.
        foreseeable harm to students.
•    For more information, see fact sheet:
                                                        3. Access to teaching and learning
     Child Safety, Reportable Conduct and Duty of          resources for students at home
     Care in Remote Online Learning.                    •   For students who do not have access to digital
                                                            technologies at home, schools will loan existing
2. Home and on-site learning programs                       devices, including those previously provided by
                                                            the Department.
•    The learning program delivered on-site will be
     the same as the learning program delivered to      •   Where additional devices are required, these
     students undertaking remote learning.                  will be provided by the Department where
                                                            schools have used a range of funding sources,
•    The following are the daily minimum guidelines
                                                            including equity funding and CSE funding, to
     schools are expected to meet for students in
                                                            purchase equipment to be loaned to students
     Prep to Year 10.
                                                            free of charge.
     o For students in Prep to Year 2, schools will
                                                        •   The Department will also provide network
        provide learning programs that include
                                                            access to the extent possible for students who
        the following:
                                                            may not be able to connect at home.
        – literacy activities that take a total of
                                                        •   Schools are also able to provide hard copies of
           about 45-60 minutes
                                                            learning resources in the event of an internet
        – numeracy activities of about 30-                  outage or in cases where it is not possible for
           45 minutes                                       students to have any digital access.
        – additional learning areas, play-based         •   Schools must follow e-safety policies
           learning and physical activity of about          and procedures.
           30-45 minutes.

8         OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020
4. Health and safety measures                            4.3 Face coverings in schools
•   This guidance applies to schools in the context      •   All school-based staff must wear face
    of on-site learning and supervision.                     coverings at school, and when travelling to and
                                                             from school.
•   The Safety Management Plan for COVID-19
    (COVIDSafe Plan) applies to all schools, and         •   Teachers and education support staff are
    outlines the key OHS risks and links to the latest       not be required to wear face coverings while
    guidance. In conjunction with this Operations            teaching, but those who wish to do so, can.
    Guide, it sets out the approach for managing             Teachers should wear face coverings in
    safety risks in schools in accordance with the           other areas of the school when not teaching
    minimum requirements for COVIDSafe Plans.                (for example, in the staffroom, on yard
                                                             duty and when providing first aid or taking
•   The Department’s OHS Advisory Service or local
                                                             temperatures), and when travelling to and
    OHS regional officer can assist in tailoring the
                                                             from school.
    plan to individual school needs. Schools should
    use their OHS consultation mechanisms to             •   Health, wellbeing and inclusion staff are
    implement the health and safety guidance to              required to wear face coverings, unless an
    the extent reasonably practicable, and escalate          exemption applies, including the need for ‘clear
    unresolved issues via eduSafe, which is being            enunciation or visibility of their mouth’ (for
    proactively monitored by the Department to               example, when undertaking a speech therapy
    provide support. Principals can also promote             intervention or working with individuals who are
    the COVID-19 Health, Safety and Wellbeing                deaf or hard of hearing).
    Support for Schools page.                            •   Students who attend primary school for on-site
                                                             supervision, including students in Prep to Year
4.1 Physical distancing                                      6 who attend a P-12 school, will not be required
•   The Australian Health Protection Principal               to wear a face covering. Students who are
    Committee (AHPPC) has advised that a ‘venue              aged 12 or over by Year 6 are required to wear
    density rule’ of no more than one person                 face coverings.
    per four square metres is not appropriate            •   Some students and staff are exempt from
    or practical in classrooms or corridors, nor             these requirements. This includes students who
    maintaining 1.5 metres between students                  attend specialist schools, are over the age of 12
    during classroom activities. The Victorian Chief         and are unable to wear a face covering due to
    Health Officer has not recommended additional            the nature of their disability. This also includes
    physical distancing measures be put in place             students or staff who have a medical condition,
    for senior students at schools where it is not           such as problems with their breathing, a serious
    practicable to do so.                                    skin condition on the face, a disability or a
•   Close attention and proactive management                 mental health condition.
    must be provided so staff can physically             •   Parents/carers will be required to wear face
    distance. Specific attention should be paid to::         coverings whenever they leave the house,
    o using spaces within the school that can                including for school drop off and pick up. If
       support physical distancing for staff, such as        they are travelling in a car alone, or only with
       libraries and vacant classrooms                       members of their household, they do not need
    o signage and rostering so that access to                to wear a mask.
       physical spaces and food preparation areas        •   School staff should refer to the Department
       can be managed                                        guidance for the use of personal protective
    o offices being appropriately spaced                     equipment (PPE) in education to determine
                                                             when additional PPE is required and for
    o the careful management of movement                     information on the correct and safe use of PPE.
       of adults through school reception,
       complemented with clear signage and               •   Schools should display information and signage
       access to sanitiser.                                  at school entrances and in communal areas
                                                             such as staff rooms as reminders for staff to
4.2 Temperature checks                                       wear face coverings when not teaching. Posters
                                                             are available in the communications support
In order to support community awareness of the
                                                             pack.
symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and to help
identify children displaying symptoms, all schools       •   Schools should ensure that staff wear face
should undertake temperature screening of                    coverings when required to as set out above.
students participating in the on-site supervision
program while the stay at home restrictions are
in place. Further advice on these requirements is
available here.

                    OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020                                 9
4.4 Other health and safety measures                          o inform all staff (including the Health and
•    Hand sanitiser should be made available at                 Safety Representative) to be vigilant about
     entry points to classrooms and education will              the onset of symptoms, if they become
     be provided on hand hygiene.                               unwell they must notify their principal, get
                                                                tested and self-isolate. A draft email for you
•    Playground equipment can be used by                        to send to do this is here. Further information
     students. However, students should practise                on consulting with your staff is available
     hand hygiene before and after use.                         here.
•    Schools should consider the necessity of using
     shared equipment at this time. If used, strict       Risk assessment for three or more
     hand hygiene should be followed before and           suspected cases
     after use. There is no requirement for books to      If there are three or more suspected cases of
     be placed aside for a given period after use or if   staff at your school within a five-day period,
     loaned to students.                                  contact DET by calling 1800 126 126 to report an
•    Students should bring their own water bottle         IRIS incident alert. The school will be supported to
     for use at school as students should not drink       undertake a risk assessment.
     directly from drinking fountains at this time.
     Taps may be used to refill water bottles.            5. Child safety, reportable conduct
•    The Department’s Students Using Mobile                  and duty of care in remote
     Phones Policy remains in place. Remind staff            learning environments
     and students to clean their phones regularly.
     Phones can be turned on with the COVID SAFE          •   The Child safety, reportable conduct and duty
     app activated immediately before and after               of care in remote learning environments fact
     school. Schools are managed environments                 sheet provides advice to all staff about how
     that include records of student, staff and visitor       to support child safety in remote learning
     attendance, which can support contact tracing.           environments.
•    Full Health Advice is provided at Appendix 1.        •   If school staff become aware of an incident,
                                                              receive a disclosure or form a reasonable belief
4.5 Required actions for suspected cases                      that a child has been abused or is at risk of
                                                              abuse, they must follow all normal procedures
    of coronavirus (COVID-19) in staff
                                                              for responding to and reporting child abuse,
•    Staff members who are unwell must stay home.             including the Four Critical Actions for Schools.
•    Any staff member is considered a suspected
     case if they experience the following symptoms:      6. Mental health and wellbeing
     fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat,
     loss of smell or taste.                              •   The mental health and wellbeing of principals,
                                                              teachers, school staff and students remains an
•    As soon as practicable after becoming aware              important consideration.
     of a suspected case in a staff member, and that
     the staff member has attended on a school            •   The Department continues to provide its
     site whilst symptomatic or 48 hours prior to the         full suite of services to support staff mental
     onset of symptoms, the Principal must take the           health and wellbeing. This includes services
     following for actions:                                   and resources aimed at addressing individual
                                                              needs, as well as tools and supports to help
     o direct the staff member to self-isolate, by            guide staff through this time. Specific examples
         travelling home immediately. If immediate            include:
         travel home is not possible, the staff member
         must be directed to self-isolate at school,          o for principal class employees: Proactive
         in a separate room where possible, while                 Wellbeing Supervision service which
         wearing a face covering and remaining at                 has been extended to include assistant
         least 1.5 metres from any other person, until            principals during 2020; the Early Intervention
         they can travel home.                                    Program for more intensive support; and
                                                                  all other Principal Health and Wellbeing
     o advise the staff member to be tested                       services
         for coronavirus (COVID-19) as soon as
         practicable, and to self-isolate whilst              o for all staff: personalised over-the-phone
         awaiting the result of that test;                        and video counselling through the Employee
                                                                  Assistance Program
     o manage the risk posed by the suspected
         case, including by arranging for cleaning of         o for all staff and all people managers:
         areas used by the staff member, and high                 Wellbeing Webinars cover a range of
         touch areas. Please see section 12 – Cleaning            relevant topics for the current situation for
         or contact the VSBA Cleaning team on                     all staff and people managers.
         cleaning@education.vic.gov.au                    •   More information and the full list of supports
                                                              and services can be found on the COVID-19

10         OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020
Health, Safety and Wellbeing Support for           10. Visitors to schools, interschool
     Schools page.                                          activities and school tours
•    More information on supporting students can
     be found at the Mental health, wellbeing and       •   Visitors to school grounds must be limited to
     support page                                           those delivering or supporting essential school
                                                            services and operations (e.g. student health and
•    More information on supporting parents can be          wellbeing services, cleaning and maintenance
     found at the Managing screen time, health and          workers).
     wellbeing page
                                                        •   To support contact tracing, schools must
•    The Regional Health and Wellbeing contact role         keep a record of all staff, students and visitors
     and supports for schools will remain in place          who attend on-site for more than 15 minutes.
     for Terms 3 and 4. Department Regional staff           Schools must record the name, contact details,
     will be available to attend schools, practising        date, and time of attendance at school, as
     physical distancing.                                   well as the areas of the school that the person
                                                            attended. Schools can use existing mechanisms
7.    Other school and curriculum settings                  such as visitor sign-in procedures, student
•    The following settings should provide remote           attendance records and staffing rosters to
     learning options where possible and close for          record this information.
     face-to-face provision:                            •   Additional staff, including parent volunteers,
     o The Victorian School of Languages (VSL)              must not attend school at this time.
     o Community Language Schools (CLSs)                •   Parent-teacher information sessions and
                                                            interviews must be replaced with online and
     o MARC/MACC services
                                                            video alternatives.
     o Outdoor education schools and camps, and
                                                        •   Activities that involve on-site attendance by
        leadership schools.
                                                            students from different educational institutions
•    Government school staff in these settings are          (e.g. interschool sport or interschool debating)
     expected to work remotely wherever possible,           must not take place or be replaced, where
     or on-site where there is no other option.             possible, with virtual alternatives.
     Where staff are not able to continue working
                                                        •   Schools must not conduct on-site school tours
     due to health or other issues, they will need to
                                                            for prospective students and their families at
     access leave.
                                                            this time.
8. Camps, playgrounds and facilities                    •   Visitors to school grounds must comply with
                                                            physical distancing and face covering advice
The following apply to all schools until                    set out in this document, and practise good
further notice:                                             hand hygiene.
•    school camps and excursions cannot take
     place at this time                                 11. Maintenance, construction and
•    playgrounds should not be made available for           building upgrades
     community use                                      In metropolitan Melbourne, Stage 4 restrictions
•    community groups are not permitted to use          now apply. School construction and maintenance
     school facilities (indoor or outdoor).             projects are affected by these restrictions. The
                                                        Victorian School Building Authority has classified
9. Sport and recreation                                 each of these projects in one of three ways:
•    In line with community advice, reasonable          1. ‘State Critical Infrastructure Projects’ and
     precautions are still advised to reduce the risk      essential maintenance will be able to continue,
     of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in the         reducing workers on site where practical to do
     context of sport and recreation.                      so. This includes new schools opening next year,
•    Outdoor facilities are preferred for physical         upgrades essential to ensuring the state can
     education and recreational play. Where indoor         meet short-term enrolment needs, and other
     facilities are used, the number of students           work critical for school safety.
     should be limited to maximise physical             2. Restricted Operations projects will be able
     distancing.                                           to continue but in a reduced way, with the
•    Non-contact sports should be encouraged.              maximum number of workers limited in
     Hand hygiene must be practised before and             accordance with industry regulations published
     after use of any sporting equipment.                  by BusinessVictoria.
•    Swimming and aquatic facilities – in line with     3. Suspended projects will have to cease onsite
     the closure of swimming pools, saunas and spas        work completely for the duration of Stage 4
     in the community, swimming pools and aquatic          restrictions.
     facilities on school grounds should close.

                     OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020                               11
The above restrictions do not apply to regional           cleaning and altered schedules with their
Victoria.                                                 cleaning provider. Schools will be advised of
                                                          additional funding for their school to undertake
If your project is being managed by the VSBA,
                                                          this cleaning.
they will have notified your builder about how your
project is classified, and the new safety measures    •   For cleaning and for personal hygiene product
that apply.                                               queries, please contact
                                                          cleaning@edumail.vic.gov.au
Off-site planning of Melbourne projects in the
                                                      •   In the event of a positive case of coronavirus
design stage can continue.
                                                          (COVID-19) at your school that requires an
School-led maintenance and upgrade projects at            ‘Infectious clean’, the VSBA will arrange and pay
metropolitan Melbourne schools                            for the clean. Once advised of the need to clean,
                                                          the VSBA will contact the principal as soon as
With the Government seeking to limit workers
                                                          possible to make arrangements,
onsite, school-led upgrades and maintenance
works (including grounds and other routine            •   The clean is conducted in accordance with
maintenance) in metropolitan Melbourne should             guidelines that have been developed with the
be stopped or restricted wherever possible.               Department of Health and Human Services.
Work can, and should, continue where it is critical   •   To assist in the event of an ‘infectious clean’, it
for school safety.                                        is recommended that on-site school staff:
If you have an ongoing school-led project currently       o keep their desks neat, tidy and file important
underway at your school, please instruct your                 documents before they leave each day
builders/contractors that on-site works are to            o take personal belongings home each day
cease immediately and remain suspended for the                (e.g. jackets, shoes, hats, gloves and masks)
duration of the Stage 4 lockdown restrictions.            o do not leave open food containers out in the
Where projects continue for safety reasons,                   open (e.g. tea bags, biscuits, fruit)
contractors should have High Risk COVIDSafe               o keep personal cutlery in a sealed container
Plans and compliant with all the new measures                 and not leave it out on their workstation
published on the BusinessVictoria website.                o take laptop, iPad home each day.
If the suspension of works creates any financial
hardship for the builders/contractors working         13. Personal hygiene products
in your school, please direct them to Business
                                                      •   For the procurement of personal hygiene
Victoria’s advice on available support packages,
                                                          products (soap, toilet paper, hand sanitiser),
or the coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15 for phone
                                                          schools should actively monitor cleaning and
advice.
                                                          hygiene supplies and reorder in advance of
Maintenance and upgrade projects at                       needing access to additional materials.
regional schools                                      •   Schools should continue to use their usual
Construction projects across regional Victorian           supplier: the State Purchase Contract supplier
schools can continue, observing the Stage 3               for office supplies, Complete Office Supplies
restrictions.                                             (COS), or retail outlets in the first instance.
                                                      •   If unavailable, schools can purchase products
Where possible during the remote and flexible
                                                          from their cleaning providers. If supplies
learning period, regional schools should continue
                                                          are unavailable, schools should contact the
their regular grounds and other maintenance,
                                                          Department at cleaning@edumail.vic.gov.au
including vermin and pest control.
                                                          who will connect schools with a supplier for
                                                          toilet paper and soap or directly supply schools
12. Cleaning                                              with hand sanitiser.
•    Extended and increased cleaning                  •   See Access to cleaning supplies and services
     arrangements have been introduced and will           for advice on enhanced cleaning, information
     continue. This involves progressive cleaning         about personal hygiene products and
     throughout the day to ensure that risks of           Procurement tips for high demand items for
     transmission are reduced for high-touch              advice about procurement of consumables.
     services.
•    For schools under the metropolitan area-based    14. School buses for on-site students
     model, the Victorian School Building Authority   •   In rural and regional Victoria, the School Bus
     (VSBA) will ensure cleaning providers provide        Program will continue to operate as normal.
     the extended and increased cleaning.
                                                      •   “School specials” operated by Public Transport
•    For regional schools and metropolitan schools        Victoria will continue to operate as normal.
     that are yet to transition to the area-based
     model, schools should arrange extended

12        OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020
•   The Students with Disabilities Transport               teaching program. These arrangements should
    Program (SDTP) will continue to operate state-         apply until further notice.
    wide for students with a disability.               •   Staff using laptops and other portable devices
•   Bus operators will ensure that high-touch              should also be encouraged to take them home
    surfaces are regularly disinfected (handrails          at the end of the school day and over weekends.
    and seating areas).
                                                       18. Work across multiple sites
15. School Breakfast Club Program                      •   If practical, schools should seek staff (including
•   The School Breakfast Club program is an                contractors and employees of school councils)
    essential service that should continue to be           that do not work at other schools or school
    delivered during Stage 3 and 4 restrictions by         sites (i.e. multiple campuses) in addition to their
    participating schools.                                 school or limit the number of sites they work at
•   In addition to providing the program for               as far as possible.
    students attending on-site, participating          •   If a school staff member is working at more
    schools should consider options for distributing       than one premises, for two or more employers:
    provisions to students and families during             o the staff member must provide a written
    remote and flexible learning including:                    declaration using the form available here
    o packaging up supplies in small parcels for               to each employer of the work they are
       students to take home                                   performing and the details of the other
    o packaging up supplies for collection by                  premises that they are performing work at
       parents/carers from the school                      o schools must maintain a record of all staff
    o providing ‘grab and go’ options such as fruit,           who have disclosed that they are working at
       fruit cups, mini milks or lunch bowls for any           more than one site.
       students who are attending school on site.
    o facilitating contactless delivery of supplies    19. Contacts
       to students’ homes (such as leaving supplies    •   Schools should contact their SEIL to discuss any
       at the gate/front door).                            queries.
•   Where collecting supplies, parents/carers          •   Local consultation should continue with staff,
    should collect them at the same time as other          Health and Safety Representatives and OHS
    necessary supplies and do not require a permit         Committees (if applicable). For further advice
    to do so.                                              and support phone 1300 074 715 or email
•   For further information and support in                 safety@edumail.vic.gov.au
    delivering the School Breakfast Clubs program      •   DET COVID-19 hotline: the Department’s
    during this time, see the School Breakfast Clubs       dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) phone
    program page.                                          advice line on 1800 338 663 can address or
                                                           appropriately refer calls on all matters. This
16. Outside school hours care                              operates from 8am to 6pm seven days a week.
Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) on school sites       •   Staff health and safety: Further advice and
in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria            support in phone 1300 074 715 or email
can provide access to students consistent with the         safety@edumail.vic.gov.au
access criteria for on-site supervision to school      •   International students (both onshore students
in their respective area as outlined earlier in this       and offshore students engaging in remote
document.                                                  learning): international@edumail.vic.gov.au or
                                                           (03) 7022 1000
17. Access to devices                                  •   Finance: School Financial Management Support
                                                           Unit:
•   For students who are learning from home and            schools.finance.support@education.vic.gov.au or
    do not have access to digital technologies,            (03) 7022 2222
    government schools should continue to loan
    existing devices and support internet access to    •   Cleaning: cleaning@edumail.vic.gov.au
    students where possible.                           •   OSHC and other early childhood:
•   Where students are learning on-site, where             the Department’s dedicated coronavirus
    necessary schools should ask that devices are          (COVID-19) phone advice line during business
    brought to school each day and then allow              hours on 1800 338 663. This operates from 8am
    students to take devices home each day. It             to 6pm seven days a week.
    is important that families understand that         •   Student transport:
    devices remain the school’s property and that          student.transport@edumail.vic.gov.au or
    devices support the school’s learning and              7022 2247.

                   OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020                                13
APPENDIX 1:
HEALTH AND SAFETY ADVICE FOR
ON-SITE SCHOOLING IN THE CONTEXT OF
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

14   OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020
Health and safety advice for on-site schooling
                                      in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19)

The purpose of this guidance is to support schools providing on-site learning to provide safe
teaching and learning environments for staff and students.

An update from the Victorian Chief Health Officer
                 As Victoria’s Chief Health           The vast majority of cases of coronavirus
                 Officer, and as a member of the      (COVID-19) observed in schools involve the
                 Australian Health Protection         student or staff member acquiring the virus
                 Principal Committee, the health,     in the community, and these cases have
                 wellbeing and safety of students     been well contained through reactive and
                 and staff remains front of mind.     temporary closures.
As you know, we have seen an increase in the          With significant testing in place, I am confident in
number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across         our ability to identify and respond appropriately
Victoria, in particular in metropolitan Melbourne,    when a student or staff member tests positive to
with a concerning number of these having been         coronavirus (COVID-19).
acquired through unknown transmission.
                                                      Reassuringly, evidence also continues to show that
In order to significantly reduce the movement of      children are less impacted by the virus, they tend
more than one million students and their families     to have milder symptoms and are less likely to
across metropolitan Melbourne and to help slow        develop severe illness.
the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across
                                                      I once again thank teachers, staff, students and
Victoria, I have advised temporarily returning to a
                                                      families for their incredible efforts during these
predominately remote learning model from Term 3.
                                                      challenging times, and with your support I am
For those continuing to receive on-site provision     confident we can once again flatten the curve of
at mainstream and specialist schools, I want to       the pandemic in Victoria.
reassure you that schools remain safe places for
staff and students when sensible steps as outlined
in this guidance are taken. I ask all Victorian
school communities to protect themselves and
others by following this advice.
The available data suggests that transmission in
school settings is uncommon, and the risk to staff
and students in both mainstream and specialist        Adj Clin Prof Brett Sutton
settings remains low, with health and safety          Victorian Chief Health Officer
measures in place.

                   OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020                               15
Health and safety advice for on-site schooling
                                         in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Actions for schools                                          o of any age and have a compromised
                                                                immune system
All schools, including specialist schools, should
                                                             o Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and
consider a variety of strategies to support
                                                                are aged over 50 with chronic medical
physical distancing and good hygiene practices
                                                                conditions.
to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19)
transmission within the practical limitations of          Such teachers and staff may be considered
a school environment. The following actions are           vulnerable and should take additional care
to be considered, adapted and implemented as              to protect themselves and consider working
necessary according to the education setting and          from home.
the individual needs of the staff, students and the       Schools should control visitor access on site and
wider school community.                                   record contact details for all visitors.

Attendance on-site                                        Hygiene
The most important action school communities              Everyone can protect themselves and prevent the
can take to reduce the risk of transmission of            spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by continuing
coronavirus (COVID-19), is to ensure that any             to practise effective hand hygiene measures.
unwell staff, children and young people remain            Enhanced hygiene measures should continue
at home.                                                  during on-site teaching and learning.
While the risk of transmission of the virus in            •   All staff, students and visitors to schools should
schools is low, staff or students most at risk of             undertake regular hand hygiene, particularly on
severe illness should continue to individually                arrival to school, before and after eating, after
assess appropriateness for on-site attendance                 blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using
with support from their medical practitioner.                 the toilet. This should be directed or supervised
As the main risk of transmission of coronavirus               by staff where required.
(COVID-19) in the school environment is between           •   Where soap and water are not readily available,
adults, it is important that visitors to school               hand sanitiser should be accessible in every
grounds is controlled, and in restricted areas                occupied room.
limited to essential school services and operations.      •   It is recommended that students do not drink
•    All unwell staff and students must stay home.            directly from drinking fountains at this time.
                                                              Instead they should bring their own water bottle
•    Schools located in areas under ‘Stay at
                                                              for use (and refilling) at school.
     Home’ restrictions should conduct daily
     temperature checks of students on arrival            •   Sharing of food should not occur.
     (Following Guidance for administering student        •   The Department of Education and Training
     temperature screening)                                   Students Using Mobile Phones policy remains in
•    Parents/carers of students with complex                  place. Staff and students should be reminded to
     medical needs (including those with                      clean their phone regularly.
     compromised immune systems), should seek             •   Where relevant, ensure the highest hygiene
     advice from the student’s medical practitioner           practices amongst food handlers where these
     to support decision-making about whether                 services are operating, as per the Department
     on-site education is suitable, noting that this          of Education and Training Safe Food
     advice may change depending on the status                Handling policy.
     of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in            •   From 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August, a face
     Victoria. This is in line with the DET Health Care       covering will be mandatory whenever you leave
     Needs policy.                                            home, wherever you live in Victoria. See DHHS
•    In line with other members of the community,             advice on face coverings for information and
     teachers and staff may be at greater risk of             guidance on use of face masks in education
     more serious illness if they are infected with           settings. It is not compulsory for staff to wear
     coronavirus (COVID-19) if they are:                      face coverings while teaching or caring for
     o aged 70 years and over                                 children, as they can interfere with their
                                                              ability to clearly communicate with children.
     o aged 65 years and over and have chronic
                                                              While teaching or caring for children, Staff
         medical conditions
                                                              can choose to wear masks face coverings if
                                                              they wish.

16         OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020
Health and safety advice for on-site schooling
                                      in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19)

School arrival and departure                           •   Local school arrangements to reduce mixing
As the main risk of introducing coronavirus                between students and staff from different
(COVID-19) to the school environment is from               classes or year levels outside of the learning
adults, close proximity between adult members              environment may continue to be of use as
of the school community should be avoided,                 precautionary measures and include:
particularly during school drop-off and pick-up.           o staggering of break times and separating
                                                              different classes or year levels when
•   Schools should encourage staff and parents                outdoors
    to observe physical distancing measures by
    not congregating in areas inside or around             o considering the order and pace in which
    the school.                                               classrooms are vacated
•   Local school arrangements to practise physical         o organising student traffic in corridors and
    distancing and minimise interaction within the            locker bays (e.g. dividing the corridor for
    school and at school entry points may include:            traffic direction).
    o multiple entry and exit points or staggered      •   Where multiple staff are required in a
       drop off and pick-up times to reduce the            classroom, remind staff to maintain physical
       number of adults congregating at the school         distancing from each other as much
       gate or outside classrooms                          as practical.
    o signs at the school gate to encourage            Considerations for offices and staff
       1.5 metres physical distancing
                                                       facilities
       between adults
                                                       As the greatest risk of transmission of coronavirus
    o if additional space is required to support
                                                       (COVID-19) in the school environment is between
       parents to physically distance at drop
                                                       adults, close proximity between staff should be
       off and pick up, allowing parents to enter
                                                       avoided where possible and especially in offices
       school grounds for a short period around
                                                       and staff rooms.
       these times.
•   Encourage non-contact greetings.                   •   Workstations should be spaced out as much
                                                           as possible, and the number of staff in offices
Considerations for teaching and                            limited. This might mean re-locating staff to
learning environments                                      other spaces (e.g. library or unused classrooms).
Density restrictions of one person per 4m2 in          •   In line with other workplaces across Victoria,
classrooms and corridors, and maintaining a                remind staff to maintain physical distance
physical distance of 1.5 metres between students           from each other as much as possible in the
during classroom activities will not always be             reception, staff room and offices.
practical in education settings. Physical distancing
is most important between adults.
Reducing mixing between different cohorts
(either classes or year levels) is recommended
as a precautionary measure to minimise risk of
spread of transmission and aid containment in
the rare event of a confirmed case of coronavirus
(COVID-19) on site.
•   Promote fresh air flow indoors and maximise
    use of outdoor learning areas or environments
    with enhanced ventilation where possible and
    as practical depending on weather conditions.
•   Mixing of staff and students between rooms
    should be avoided where possible.

                   OPERATIONS GUIDE Victorian Government Schools Term 3 2020                                17
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