Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 9th June 2020.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has held with Public Health England on the need for personal protective equipment provision for teaching staff at schools in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department has worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) and stakeholders on our approach and guidance throughout the Department’s COVID-19 response. We have worked with PHE to devise a hierarchy of controls for all education settings which, when implemented, will create an inherently safer system where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. This includes measures such as ensuring that anyone with symptoms does not attend their education settings, cleaning hands regularly, good respiratory hygiene, regular cleaning of touched surfaces, minimising contact and mixing and, where needed, use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The majority of staff in schools and nurseries will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain distance of 2 meters from others. Our guidance sets out clearly the limited circumstances in which PPE is required in educational settings, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

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