Schools: Protective Clothing

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th May 2020.

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Photo of Rehman Chishti Rehman Chishti Conservative, Gillingham and Rainham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government has taken to help ensure special schools have access to adequate levels of personal protective equipment for staff delivering personal and intimate care.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The scientific advice indicates that most educational staff do not require additional Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

Any symptomatic individual should avoid attending an educational setting, with the exception of residential special schools, where PPE may be required if contact with a symptomatic individual is unavoidable.

Current guidance issued by Public Health England suggests that PPE is only required for contact with an asymptomatic individual if there is a high risk or high likelihood of contact with excess bodily fluids or during an aerosol-generating procedure. This may be applicable to some special school settings (for example, in instances such as tracheostomy changes or if a pupil in a special school has a medical condition that includes uncontrollable spitting).

Educational settings are using their locally agreed supply chains to obtain PPE wherever possible. If there is a requirement in line with published guidance for educational settings to obtain PPE and it is not possible for them to source PPE via the aforementioned supply chains, PPE may be obtained from their nearest Local Resilience Forum.

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