Maia Hendrickx Vocal Studios is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and teaching staff. This commitment remains the same in the difficult circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.
We are looking forward to offering face-to-face workshops as of November 2020, but we recognise that there may be periods of further disruption. In the event of a temporary closure, we will offer all our workshops online.
Whether we remain open to all students, or closed with online teaching in operation, the principles and practices of the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education, and our own Safeguarding Policy will continue to apply. In order to ensure the safety and welfare of children, the school will also adhere to the latest Department for Education (DfE) guidance, together with other relevant guidance and advice as this is published and updated.
In practice, the following procedures will also apply:
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
There will always be a nominated DSL available, either on site or contactable by phone.
Where a DSL is not on site, the deputy will take responsibility for safeguarding on site. The DSL will oversee the safeguarding aspects of the return to classes and advise on relevant policy and procedures.
Pupils or parents with a safeguarding concern should contact:
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Maia Hendrickx (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ensuring safety in workshops and masterclasses
We will continue to use relevant guidance published by the DfE to inform arrangements and decision-making to ensure workshops remain safe for pupils and staff. Safeguarding will be a key consideration of all risk assessments carried out and revised and updated for the new academic year. Appropriate staff will always be on site to maximise safety, and everyone on site should know how to contact the DSL and First Aiders. We will maintain a record of everybody on site on any given day.
We will thoroughly risk assess all our activities in line with our COVID Safety Policy, reviewing assessments quarterly or more regularly according to changes in DfE policy.
Protective Measures & Best Practice
In order to reduce the risk of Coronavirus transmission, we will follow the following procedures across the 2020-21 academic year:
System of Controls
We will put in place the DfE’s System of Controls comprising:
1) minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does or have been advised by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, do not attend our setting.
2) cleaning hands more often than usual – washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and drying them thoroughly or using alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
3) ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
4) cleaning frequently-touched surfaces more often than usual using standard products, such as detergents and bleach; see the guidance COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home.
5) minimising contact and mixing by altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as layout) and timetables (such as allowing for sufficient changeover time to clean the area between different classes or groups of children and ensuring areas do not become overcrowded).
6) where necessary, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
In response to any infection, we will:
7) engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.
8) manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the out-of-school settings community.
9) contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.
Where possible all spaces should also be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows).
We will apply this System of Controls as follows:
• In advance of student attendance, parents will be advised that on arrival onsite, students will be asked to consent to having their temperature taken by a staff member using a non-contact infrared thermometer. Should a student have a temperature outside the normal range, we will refuse admittance and ask them to follow local NHS advice.
• Bathrooms and classroom surfaces will be cleaned throughout the teaching day as follows:
– At lesson changeovers
• Staff and students will be asked to make use of hand sanitiser on arrival to and on exiting the building.
• Hand sanitiser will be provided to each classroom and students will be encouraged to make use of it on arrival to their class, on exiting and before their break time.
• Each teaching bubble will have designated toilets and must only use their designated toilet.
- Staff will to have exclusive use of the Staff toilet.
Track & Trace
• Only registered students and teachers will be admitted to the building and registers will be taken to confirm attendance at each teaching session.
• Should a parent need to enter the building under exceptional circumstances, we will ask them to wear a mask and record their name and telephone number in order that we can contact them in the event of a Coronavirus outbreak.
We will limit class sizes to 6, constituting a Teaching Bubble. Each Bubble will operate independently and will not socialise or otherwise mix with other Teaching Bubbles within the building.
Movement Around the Site
- Parents will be asked to arrive on time for the start of the day in order to minimise crowding and ensure that students can be safely admitted at the correct time.
- Parents can register their child at the gate, after which, students will enter the site.
• Each group will enter the building via their separate entrances. We will clearly signpost separate gates for students to arrive to and which door they should use to enter the building.
• Students will exit through the doors they entered and parents will meet them at the gate.
- We ask that, in the event of queuing, you maintain a 2m distance between students outside of the front gate. We will aim to reduce queuing by starting registration 15 minutes before the sessions start.
• We will continue to provide sterile gloves onsite to ensure that teachers are able to administer First Aid appropriately.
• Staff are not required to wear a mask or visor but may wear a mask or visor if they so choose.
• Staff must have a mask or visor with them at all times whilst teaching and must wear a mask or visor for situations that necessitate contact closer than 2 metres (for example, First Aid and Safeguarding).
Teaching of Singing
• We will follow guidance issued by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) and the Association of British Choral Directors (ABCD), who in turn have consulted the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
• ABCD’s statement on the safety of resuming singing reads as follows:
“The updated Government guidelines state that:
‘Both professionals and non-professionals can now engage in singing, wind and brass in line with this guidance.’ ‘there are no set limits on the numbers who can be involved in planned non-professional activity taking place outside and/or in a COVID-secure venue… However, organisations must ensure an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment is carried out and that the numbers of individuals involved are able to be socially distanced at all times.’
So it’s now clear that amateur choirs as well as professionals can now start to meet again, but must do so within the rules on meeting people outside your home (under the gatherings sub-heading), and within or at COVID-19 secure venues (whether inside or outside).”
In view of this advice, in order to teach and practise singing safely, we will:
• Practice singing as a solo activity with 3m distance between singer, other participants and their teacher/accompanist.
• Teach singing in spaces not smaller than 5m x 5m (or comparable) in order to facilitate social distancing measures.
• When teaching singing inside, ensure the space has fresh air ventilation at all times (windows open).
• Singers will sing behind a screen and any/all equipment will be sanitised between uses
This Policy will be reviewed periodically and updated according to the latest DfE advice.
Updated October 2020