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Return to school

December 21, 2020 By Laura Przybek

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St John’s preparatory and senior day school caters for pupils aged 3-18. During the COVID-19 pandemic the UK government imposed a lockdown requiring schools in the UK to close to all but the children of key workers.

The school received notification from government on 10th May that they could reopen to pupils in reception, year 1 and year 6 on June 1st and were provided with guidance for risk assessment and social distancing best practice.

The Headteacher, Mrs Tardios felt a burden of responsibility for both staff and pupils and considered additional specialist medical advice as essential for her to reopen the doors as safely as possible.

Working with GPDQ’s Return to School programme gave her the guidance and structure that she was looking for and peace of mind that best practice measures were being put in place for both her staff and pupils.

GPDQ provided:

  • Individual risk stratification for staff
  • Antibody testing for previous infection
  • A tele-consult for each individual to discuss their results with an experienced GP in detail
  • An opportunity for parents to access the same services for their children

Services were provided to all teachers by the school and offered to parents on a self-pay basis. The information from the programme enabled the Headteacher and her staff to make decisions about who was sufficiently low risk to return to school in the first phase and who should not return to school until the threat from COVID-19 has receded.

GPDQ’s services enabled me to make an informed decision as to how best deploy my staff. As a result, I was able to give parents and staff the assurance needed for their children to return to our school, with over 70% returning in the first week. The team at GPDQ were superb, from coordinating the programme and administering testing on-site to providing me with the information I needed. I can’t praise them highly enough

Mrs Tardios, St John’s.