TiE Guidelines for Safer Workshops During Covid-19

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UPDATED 05/11/20

The UK Government’s coronavirus guidelines allow supply teachers and other temporary staff to move between schools. Thinkers in Education (TiE) presentation teams will strictly adhere to your specific safety procedures to reduce any added transmission risk of Covid-19 to an absolute minimum.

In addition, we have detailed below the changes in our Workshop Planning & Logistics, Teaching & Delivery Style and Activity Design & Resource Usage designed to minimise the added risk to your staff, students and their families when attending our Covid-Secure Workshops. To view and download a print version click HERE. (~575 KB)

Important changes made in this update:

In response to the National Lockdown (November 2020 ) and UK Tier systems, TiE teams:

will wait 14 days after delivering workshops in one establishment before working in another or will await a clear Covid test result conducted between workshops.

will not travel to or from any region designated Tier 3 (Very High) before National Lockdown (05/11/20) until the region has been reappraised.

will contact hosts to discuss options if the hosting establishment is in a higher or lower tier region to the TiE team assigned to deliver the workshop.




Workshop Planning & Logistics

Thinkers in Education (TiE) will follow the safety procedures and behaviours determined by the host establishment AND in addition:

1) TiE will never knowingly send team members to your school who are suspected of having Covid-19. We will symptom check and monitor the temperature of each team member in the days leading up to the workshop, with a final check on the morning before arrival at your establishment. TiE will cancel or reschedule workshops (at no cost to the hosting establishment) should symptoms develop within this period of time.

2) To reduce the risk of transference between host establishments TiE presentation teams will wait 14 days after delivering workshops in one establishment before working in another or will await a clear Covid test result after testing between workshops.  In addition, TiE teams will not travel to or from any region designated Tier 3 (Very High) before National Lockdown (05/11/20) until the region has been reappraised and will rearrange/cancel any affected workshops at no cost to the hosting establishment.  TiE will contact hosts to discuss options if the hosting establishment is in a higher or lower tier region to the TiE team assigned to deliver the workshop.

3) If possible the TiE team should work in just one location within the host establishment but we will happily discuss options to best meet your requirements. Our teams will clean frequently touched surfaces using suitable detergents and bleach. Additional time may need to be allowed for extra cleaning (before and after any group changes) if more than one workshop session is delivered in the same day. This will be built into your workshop plan at the time of booking - based on your school time-table and our discussions together.

4) Students and staff should arrive at workshops having cleaned their hands in line with your school procedures. TiE will also place additional hand sanitisers around the venue to allow participants to sanitise their hands upon entering and exiting the workshop or between practical activities as required.

5) Weekend and holiday workshops delivered in a school venue are best delivered in a large enough room that allows participants to use separate tables (standard classroom desks or exam tables) or share large enough work surfaces to work 2 metres apart. A maximum of 30 students (split into two zones for up to 15 people per zone) are permitted within the same venue. A hall or gym space is recommended. Room layout suggestions will be provided. Movement around the room will be limited during the sessions and where possible all spaces will be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units.

6) School-day workshops are best delivered as described in point 5 (above) where possible but a TiE representative will happily discuss the use of a classroom/lab as a venue. We will endeavour to use the table layout or seating plans designed by your establishment and use the venue facilities in the same manner as in the day-to-day running of the school. This is only possible if the participating group is of the school’s regular class-size during the pandemic. However, we may need additional tables to use as equipment collection points. If group sizes are larger than regular class sizes we request the facilities described in point 5 (above) to be made available.

Teaching & Delivery Style

7) All team-building, group work and peer learning activities have been replaced in Thinkers in Education (TiE) workshops with Covid-Secure alternatives whilst the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. Workshop participants will not be required to work closely together in groups. Instead, every student will complete an activity individually. Their scores will contribute to a team score and to the class total. This approach helps to build a positive competitive motivation that has proved so highly successful since the launch of our workshops in 2001.

8) Methods of teaching have been adapted to minimise contact and maintain as much distance as possible between TiE presenters and members of the educational establishment hosting a workshop. Presenters will wear face screens and a microphone to deliver training from the front of the room - to reduce the risk of aerosolised virus.

9) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be worn by TiE presenters if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained from students or school staff. Members of the TiE team will wear a multi-layered face mask and a face shield when distributing equipment and offering support to participants. Gloves or hand sanitiser will be used appropriately.

10) Students should bring their own mask to the workshop. They will be required to wear it when entering and exiting the room. They will also need to wear their face mask when individual guidance/advice is requested. Our presentation teams will have an emergency supply of disposable face masks to give to students that have misplaced their own.

Activity Design & Use of Resources

UK Government’s ‘Action for schools during the coronavirus outbreak guidelines’

“Classroom based resources, can be used and shared within the bubble; these should be cleaned regularly, along with all frequently touched surfaces. Resources that are shared between classes or bubbles, such as sports, art and science equipment should be cleaned frequently and meticulously and always between bubbles, or rotated to allow them to be left unused and out of reach for a period of 48 hours (72 hours for plastics) between use by different bubbles.”

11) Where necessary, practical activities have been replaced or redesigned to enable TiE workshops to run more safely whilst still achieving many of their original objectives. Some workshops have proved impossible to adapt safely and TiE will not deliver them whilst Covid-19 is active. The full list of Covid-Secure workshops can be viewed here.

12) All practical equipment provided by TiE will be thoroughly cleaned with recommended detergents/bleach or carefully stored between workshops for at least 72 hours to limit transference from surfaces. Workshop participants will be expected to bring and use their own stationery (as used in regular lessons).

13) Equipment sharing and person to person interaction will be kept to the absolute minimum. Participants will be allocated a bag/envelope/tray/zone containing equipment needed in the workshop and treated as in point 12. However, some specialist equipment (e.g bottles of chemicals) may need to be shared within the group/bubble created by the host establishment - in which case participants will be instructed to wear the disposable gloves provided or use sanitiser immediately before and after using equipment. Activities of this type can be clearly identified in the workshop details and our staff will discuss any such activities and available options with you at the time of booking.

Host on school-days, at weekends or in the holidays