5 Essential Building Refurbishments for Primary Schools to Reopen Safely
On Sunday 10th May 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the ambitious announcement that Primary School children could return to full time education as early as 1st June.
In what was described as a phased reintegration, pupils in Reception, Year 1, and Year 6, could return to school on that date if infection rates (alongside other measures) were going in the right direction.
For many schools this tight deadline now represents a significant challenge to ensure that children and teachers are able to return safely.
What’s more, there can be little doubt that significant adaptations and special measures are now required to the school building in order to keep pupils safe and limit the spread of the coronavirus infection.
What special measures are needed for Primary Schools to open safely?
1. Deep Cleaning Schools
Schools in the UK officially closed their doors on 20th March and whilst there has been no human interaction to contribute towards any mess, the internal and external environments are going to require deep cleaning before pupils and teachers can safely return.
Not specifically just due to coronavirus but removing 6 weeks’ worth of dust, grime and bacteria that has been accumulating since the doors closed, is going to be an essential first step in the process.
If you are looking for deep cleaning services for your school – Contact Novus today >>
2. Implementing social distancing measures
If schools are going to reopen, limiting the spread of the virus from person to person will be the most important consideration of all.
Making adaptations to enable social distancing in schools presents a challenge but perhaps guidance can be taken from countries such as Denmark where students have been allowed to return to school already.
Smaller class sizes, limited sized play groups, segregated classrooms and playgrounds are just some of the measures that have been implemented.
Floor markings, like those seen at any UK supermarket at present, could be adopted to not only keep pupils sufficiently apart but to manage the flow of footfall.
Like in any UK supermarket at present, one way systems, would be mapped out around the school via floor markings to limit interactions, and colour coded areas in the playground would help children identify where they are permitted to play.
Need help implementing your floor markings? Contact Novus today >>
3. Provide additional hygiene stations
Since day 1, regular handwashing has been an integral part of the narrative in the fight against Covid-19. As pupils and teachers go back into school, hand washing needs to become a habitual element to the daily school routine.
For instance, pupils will need to wash their hands every break time and (particularly) lunch time. In many cases the existing school bathroom facilities may lack the capacity to cope.
Installing a number of temporary hand washing zones in and around the school could be the answer.
This would help alleviate the overuse and overcrowding of toilets and ultimately reduce overall disruption to the school day.
Novus are experts in installing temporary facilities of all kinds – contact our team today to find out how we can help >>
4. Install new signage around the school
”The very first week required a lot of extra coordination, guidance and reminding” according to one teacher from a recently opened Danish school.
Particularly for children, the message around Covid-safety needs to continually reinforced whenever and wherever possible.
As in the general workplace, the simplest way to do this is by implementing clear signage throughout the school.
Whether this be reminding the children to wash their hands regularly or to maintain adequate distance between themselves and their peers, well placed signage in significant quantities is an absolute must-have.
As a positive reinforcement exercise, teachers could ask their pupils to create their own posters to put up around the classroom.
The eBug website has some really useful resources for teachers on the subject.
As Novus have already opened many sites around the UK, we are well placed to assist in your signage installation. Contact us for more information >>
5. Incorporate hygienic materials and coatings
To help keep the environment clean and hygienic going forward, the school might opt to repaint the walls, floor, and ceiling with a hygienic coating.
There are numerous varieties and brands of these coatings & paints available and each provide a cost-effective way of adding more microbial protection to the school.
Alternatively, the school could opt for a hygienic wall cladding system instead.
These are ideal for the school corridors, canteens, toilets, and other surfaces with frequent exposure to human contact.
These non-porous, easy to clean surfaces are typically made from PVC and have passive antibacterial and antiviral qualities.
Novus have been providing hygienic surfaces for a wide array of sectors and buildings for years, and are experts in painting and decorating services.
If you need our help, our teams are ready to assist >>
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As the lockdown measures look to ease over the coming weeks and months, rest assured that Novus are at your service.
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