The government has issued updated guidance for education providers regarding the NHS COVID-19 app which gives valuable and relevant advice for all settings.
The NHS COVID-19 app is a key part of the country’s ongoing coronavirus response, aiming to extend the speed, precision and reach of NHS Test and Trace in England, as well as NHS Test, Trace and Protect in Wales. The app will complement the overall service by automating some aspects of the process of contact tracing. Working together, NHS Test and Trace and the app are designed to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by alerting people who may have been exposed to infection so that they can take action.
The app is available to download for anyone aged 16 and over if they choose to do so. For some young people, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), parents will need to decide whether or not their use of the app is appropriate.
The new guidelines are intended to provide information about the app and how it works, and to set out guidance for its use within schools and FE colleges in England but contains much information which will be useful and relevant to all.
Key guidance in the government’s document includes:
- “Leaders should understand how the app relates to their setting’s process for managing a positive case and/or an outbreak”
- “Leaders should understand how the app’s ‘Trace’ feature relates to their setting’s existing process”
- “Consider how the app relates to your setting’s mobile phone policies”
- “Where mobile phones are allowed to be on and with the student at all times”
- “Where mobile phones are required to be switched off at all times”
- “Where mobile phones are required to be left in lockers or bags in communal areas at all times”
- “Communicate with staff about use of the app”
- “Consider communicating with students and parents about the use of the app”
- “Consider whether to use the check-in function for any activities or provision in your setting where members of the public take part or make use of premises”
The full guidance on the government’s official website can be found here.