Covid Response

Jigsaw’s Covid-19 Response Statement

During this time of unprecedented uncertainty, Jigsaw has remained resolute in its commitment to continue to educate, care and support those learners in our community who need our support most.  We are proud to have been able to keep our doors open throughout, whilst operating adjusted timetables and daily schedules, and recognise that we have been able to do this because of the commitment of our staff teams, suppliers and contractors and also as a result of the support we have received from our extended Jigsaw families.

As an organisation, Jigsaw is governed by a commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our learners and staff at all times and all decisions are made with this at the forefront of our thinking.  Whilst we are in constant and direct contact with our families and carers, we provide here more information regarding our response to Covid-19 and the various preventative measures and proactive actions we have in place across our site to best mitigate risk and to keep our learners and staff safe.

Jigsaw is operating in line with all Government guidance and best practice and has a dynamic, evolving Risk Assessment in place that is reviewed weekly by our Business Continuity Team (BCT*).  This enables us to respond swiftly to any legislation/advisory changes and effectively implement new protocols and interventions where necessary to further ensure the safety of all our learners and staff.

*BCT comprises our CEO, Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher, Director of Adult Services, Director of People, Facilities Manager, IT Lead and Marketing & Communications Manager.  

As an ever changing document, we have taken the decision not to publish our Risk Assessment online, however, it is available for review should you wish to request a latest, dated, copy at any point from [email protected].

Please find below a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that relate to key aspects of the risk assessment.

Covid Response Frequently Asked Questions

We have a Business Continuity Team consisting of Senior Management Team members across our business areas, our CEO, HR and Communications managing and agreeing on all measures, actions and processes taken by the organisation.
Yes we do. It is a dynamic document continually under review by our Business Continuity Team. We have chosen not to publish this document as it is a working, evolving document responsive to updates and the changing situation. If you wish to see a latest copy, it is available by contacting our Administration team but please be aware that changes are continually ongoing and updated versions are being produced regularly.
We have a 2m distancing protocol in place across the whole of our site and this is maintained wherever possible. We are an educational setting for children with special needs (autism) and as such, need to work closely with our pupils to keep them safe and to teach them effectively. Maintaining social distancing is embedded into learning programmes with pupils where possible. We also have visual markers across our site including, but not limited to, 2m tape and corridor directional markings.
Within the school we are currently operating with three distinct bubbles in different buildings – within these bubbles, we also have separate classrooms and have schedules in place to ensure minimal crossover. There are separate staffrooms and where space allows different transit routes and amended entry/exit points. Staff have great clarity around how/why we have implemented bubbles as a preventative measures through regular staff meetings and reinforcement of our messaging.
We routinely use PPE where necessary and are guided by individual learners’ risk assessments in addition to best practice and all latest guidance. We additionally maintain a stock of PPE separately in isolation areas to use in the event of a member of staff or one of our learners presenting with symptoms on site.
In the event of a learner (or staff member) becoming symptomatic on site, we have established procedures in place for staff to follow. Full PPE is available in our isolation areas and staff have all been trained in the correct donning, doffing and disposal of PPE and our internal protocols around this. The procedure ensures we are able to look after and isolate the learner (or staff member) in question until they able to leave the site.
We are not using temperature checks as one of our routine measures. It is not included in the DfE guidance for educational settings as a preventative and protective measure we are required or advised to adopt. “Parents, carers and settings do not need to take children’s temperatures every morning. Routine testing of an individual’s temperature is not a reliable method for identifying coronavirus (COVID-19). Educational and childcare settings should reiterate to parents the need to follow the standard national advice on the kind of symptoms to look out for that might be due to coronavirus (COVID-19), and where to get further advice. If anyone in the household develops a fever, or a new continuous cough, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they are advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection guidance (which states that the ill person should remain in isolation for at least 10 days and the rest of the household in isolation for 14 days).”
Yes. We have an enhanced cleaning contract with our existing cleaning company. The routine cleaning schedule includes high touch areas addressed multiple times throughout the day; regular WC cleans; full spray down of playground equipment after each use; scheduled deep cleans and a number of other measures, including surface wipes available at all points along with hand sanitisers. All staff are routinely reminded of the need to wipe down areas (in addition to the daily cleansing), use hand sanitisers and promote good hygiene with their learners.
We have procedures in place from the moment someone is identified as being symptomatic whether they are on or offsite. To ensure we can provide an accurate picture of any impact of a positive test, we conduct an internal ‘contact check’ with individuals at the point they identify themselves as symptomatic. This means we are capturing contact information at the earliest possible moment and have that information to present to PHE/DfE if required. If someone is then confirmed as positive, we will immediately notify PHE/DfE and be guided by case specific guidance from them including an immediate deep clean of contaminated area/s and potential closure of all or part of our site. Staff and parents are kept informed on a regular basis and in the event of further actions needing to be taken by Jigsaw, immediate communications will be sent to all relevant parties.
We operate a strict ‘bubble’ system designed to minimise any impact of a positive test result on the whole school. It is more likely that a single contained bubble/area would need to be closed rather than our whole facility but we can only respond to advice given to us by PHE/DfE in the event of a positive test result.
Guidance has been distributed to prepare schools for the likelihood of a local lockdown (which may impact the area you live in as well as the school location). Special schools are to remain open if there is a local lockdown. Your child can continue to come to school if there is a local lockdown in your area and they can continue to come to school if there is a local lockdown in the area of the school.
Currently, pupils are not required to wear face masks at Jigsaw. Exemptions to wearing face masks across Jigsaw is based primarily on the fact that for our cohort of learners, all of whom have a diagnosis of autism, the following statements apply to a greater or lesser degree: • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability • where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress • if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate If you wish your son/daughter to wear a facemask, we would ask that you speak to our Headteacher in the first instance as we would need to carry out a risk assessment on an individual basis to qualify any risk of harm or injury to themselves or others by wearing a mask in our specific setting.
If your son/daughter has been unwell but not shown any Covid symptoms, they may return to Jigsaw once they feel well enough to do so, as long as they remain free from Covid symptoms.
If your son/daughter has developed a new cough, they should be tested or seek medical advice from your GP. If the GP advises that they can return or you have a negative test, we are happy to have them back onsite otherwise, you should follow the staying at home guidance and self-isolate for the appropriate period.
If you have any concerns, you should seek the advice of a medical professional and/or get tested and follow advice given. The symptoms of Covid-19 are a ‘persistent new cough’, high temperature and/or loss or change of your sense of smell and/or taste.
If you are unable to get a test; have not received your results or if your results come back as inconclusive, you must continue to self-isolate for the full 10-day period. You will only be allowed to return to Jigsaw after this period of self-isolation is complete and if you feel well enough to do so.
We operate three distinct bubbles within the School and have created three separate staffroom areas.
The aim of the bubbles is to keep different groups of staff and learners isolated as much as possible. However, there are some shared facilities, eg. PE Hall, Gym that are used by different bubbles – these facilities are thoroughly cleaned directly after each use to maintain strict hygiene measures. Otherwise, any cross-over will only take place following individual risk assessment where there is a clear educational or safety need to access a facility in a different part of the building. Again, the same stringent cleaning protocols are in place. Members of the School Management Team, Therapists and other Senior staff do operate outside the bubbles structure to ensure management and operational oversight. These members of staff are required to socially distance from all other staff and the pupils.
It is not possible to create a staggered drop off/pick up due to the number of transport providers and shared taxi services involved, however, we have introduced flexibility for solo drop offs or parent drop offs.
Resources may be shared within bubbles but in our setting more likely to only be shared within a class setting. Where a shared resource is used eg. PE Hall, playground, then the facilities are cleaned thoroughly (sprayed and wiped) after each use.
Overseas travel is subject to changing rules and regulations regarding quarantine, advised/non-advised travel areas and as such, our response depends entirely on the prevailing government guidance at the time of travel. No member of staff or pupil/learner will be allowed to return to Jigsaw until all quarantine and/or other relevant restrictions and measures have been satisfied.
Yes – you will have an opportunity to liaise directly with your son/daughter’s Supervisor to organise this.
Yes, as long as the person in the household who is self-isolating is not symptomatic. For example, if a brother/sister has been sent home from school and has been asked to self-isolate for 14 days due to someone in their bubble testing positive, then your son/daughter can continue to attend Jigsaw. If, however, anyone in the household becomes symptomatic then your son/daughter must self-isolate for 14 days.
No – currently there are no offsite trips being arranged for learners.
Yes and generally only within their actual class. Social distancing is maintained wherever possible but it is important that pupils are afforded the opportunity to interact within a group learning setting as well as on an individual basis.
We are provided with a limited number of kits only and they are intended to be used where it would otherwise be impossible or prohibitively difficult to access a test through the usual channels, ie. where someone has a barrier to access normal testing.
No additional laundering of uniform is required at Jigsaw over and above that which you would normally do in order that your son/daughter arrives at school in a clean and tidy manner. This is in line with the latest guidance from the Department for Education.
PHE has special permission from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to use personally identifiable information without people’s consent where this is in the public interest. This means that both staff and parents of pupils at Jigsaw are not required to give consent for data to be shared with PHE in this instance as it is a public duty that these data are shared. Jigsaw will be required to co-operate with such requests as we are under an obligation to share data and whilst at no point will we share data without a sound legal basis, please be aware that we will share data where necessary.
We currently have no plans to run a vaccination programme at Jigsaw. If for any reason that were to change, we would seek individual permissions for the specific vaccination in question at that time, otherwise, we continue to adhere to all information provided by you to us in your son/daughter’s annual medical declarations (inc any interim updates).
Yes, there is a legal duty to self-isolate if you test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. It is really important that you comply with self-isolation rules and fines have been introduced for anyone breaching these rules.
No, as a pupil at Jigsaw School, your son/daughter will be exempt from wearing a mask unless they particularly wish to do so. They would be exempt where the putting on, wearing or removing of a facemask could cause severe stress and where the wearing of a mask may be considered unsafe.
Jigsaw is operating a policy of 'essential visitors only' on site. Any onsite visits are driven by business need and governed by individual risk assessment. We have an updated Guide for Visitors available on the Contact Us pages of our websites which we request you review ahead of considering a visit. Before any visit can be confirmed, we will also require you to speak directly to the member of staff you are interested in visiting to discuss whether we may be able to manage your visit remotely via Teams (or similar), telephone or email. If an onsite visit is necessary, we will discuss any additional measures required at that time.
Jigsaw fully supports the NHS Test & Trace service and any visitors coming onsite will be given the opportunity to provide their contact details either directly to the NHS via QR Codes displayed or by completing the form on the back page of our Visitors Guide (available on our Contact Us pages on our websites or via email when booking a visit) and handing the form to Reception upon arrival. Details held onsite will be kept strictly in accordance with NHS Test & Trace guidelines and securely destroyed 21 days following a visit.
Under our latest Covid measures and updated visitor guidelines, all visitors to site will be required to wear a face covering for the duration of their visit unless exempt. Please see our Visitors Guide on the website (Contact Page) for all information.