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Covid 19 Safe Working Conditions in the School

INTRODUCTION
This document details the approach Phototronics is taking to keep pupils, school staff and employees safe during the activity of taking school photographs.

Following the COVID19 Lockdown it is recognised that part of the previous way of taking school photographs will not comply with current guidelines, especially in respect to social distancing.

Building upon our existing Safeguarding Policy, it is hoped that the new process will give confidence that school photographs can be taken in a safe and efficient manner, with clean equipment and PPE, whilst capturing the best image possible of the pupil.

Although this document is intended to initially cover the period from January 2021 to July 2021 the information provided post COVID19 Lockdown is continuously under review and evolves on a regular basis. Therefore, this document, and the way of working detailed within, will be updated as required to reflect any new information or guidance. Alongside this, we will also review our processes to identify any changes that might make the activity of school photographs run smoother.

KEY POINTS OUTLINED IN THIS POLICY
Phototronics staff will adhere to government social distancing policy and a no touch policy.

All photographers will be equipped with appropriate PPE and cleaning products.

Photographers will be required to use the nearest access point to the room they are working in and will remain in their own ‘Bubble’ within schools.

Locations set out for photography should be in a well ventilated area taking into account adequate space for studio and pupils.

Each pupil will be photographed in a traditional pose, cropping to a head and shoulders style portrait.

Multiple photographs may be taken to capture each pupil at their best, however only one image will be submitted.

Where possible, each pupil will stand for the portrait. School staff may be required to assist younger children, or those with difficulties.

Queuing pupils will adhere to the school’s own social distancing policy.


INFORMATION SOURCES
To help identify how we needed to change our method of working in schools we had to understand the limitations of what we can and cannot do post lockdown. To establish this we have looked at the guidance provided by the UK Government and its various departments, including the National Health Service, the Department for Education and the Department of Work and Pensions. We have also used our current Safeguarding Policy to ensure that any changes made to our working practices are Safeguarding compliant. As mentioned above, we will monitor any new guidance and legislation and make changes to our working practices where required. 

We have used (www.gov.uk/coronavirus) to keep updated on the latest UK Government information. Government guidance documents have been used to determine safe ways of working in schools, these include:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings                                             
Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

RISK REDUCTION METHODOLOGY USED
No system introduced will be 100% effective so we have tried to reduce the risk as much as possible using the ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) Principle.

The methodology required risks to be identified and practical mitigation measures to be put in place. To do this we created a Risk Reduction Table. The following table shows an example of one risk we identified and how it was practically mitigated.

Risk Involved    People    Mitigation Measures
Transmission between School(s) and Office.     Photographer    Photographer ‘Safe Zone’ created for taking photographs.
Photographer using PPE when moving around school outside of ‘Safe Zone’.
Photographer self sanitising routine when entering the ‘Safe Zone’.
Disposable cover for bench used by pupils if needed.
Photographer jackets/cardigans not to be laid on school benches/equipment. Coat hangers should be used.
Fabric toys to engage children should not be used.
Fabric stools should not be used.
Cleaning of equipment prior to leaving School.
Washing and cleaning hands with appropriate cleaner upon leaving school.
Spraying soles of shoes with cleaning product prior to getting in vehicle when leaving a school.
PPE waste from school securely bagged upon leaving school and disposed of correctly upon arrival at office.
Regular washing of hands.

PHOTOGRAPHER SAFETY EQUIPMENT & PPE
Photographers must comply to individual school policies regarding the usage of PPE. If or when they are instructed by the school they are to use individual PPE either in or outside of their designated ‘Safe Zone’. Each photographer will be issued the following PPE:
Protective gloves
Protective mask(s)
Safety Glasses
Photographers may use their own alternative PPE as long as it is appropriate and fit for purpose. Photographers should use a cleaning spray to clean the soles of their shoes upon leaving the school and prior to entering their vehicle. 
Each photographer will be issued the following safety equipment for use in schools:
Disposable Barrier Tape
Disposable Industrial Hygiene Wrap
Cleaning Spray
Cleaning Wipes
Hand Sanitiser


SIGNING IN, LUNCH & USING FACILITIES IN SCHOOLS
Photographers should wear individual PPE when entering and signing in to school. Photographers will use their own lanyards and ID, to which school issued ID Stickers can be affixed or badges placed.

Access to the room where the studio will we setup must be through the closest entrance. The photographer(s) will remain in their own ‘Bubble’ and will not enter other classrooms or ‘Bubbles’ within the school.

School staff will not be allowed to carry or move any Photographic equipment on behalf of the photographer. In scenarios where the school has a breakfast club in the area where the photographer is due to setup suitable distancing measures must be adhered to. Failure to provide suitable distancing measures will result in a delayed setup and start time.

After setting up their equipment, the photographer will create a ‘Safe Zone’. Once this area is established no-one except the photographer will be allowed to enter. In this area the choice of wearing PPE is optional and resides with the photographer unless instructed otherwise by the school. However, hand sanitiser must be used by the photographer each time they re-enter the ‘Safe Zone’.

In all areas of the school except the ‘Safe Zone’ individual PPE must be worn by the photographer. The photographer should be restricted to areas of the school required to complete their job, including toilets.

If a job requires morning and afternoon photography, Photographers must eat their lunch in their vehicle, or in their ‘Safe Zone’. Photographers are not allowed to visit the school Staff Room or use school tea/coffee making facilities or water fountains. Photographers cannot accept any drinks from school staff and must bring their own refreshments.  

PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATION
To comply with ‘social distancing’ guidance suitable sized rooms must be used, preferably a school hall. If a room is too small for safe working an alternative location will be required for photographs to be taken. When considering locations please note that each studio setup requires a 12ft x 12ft space in addition to the necessary space for children to line up whilst socially distanced. If required, site visits can be arranged to determine if a location is suitable.

In compliance with government guidance, the location of the studio must be well ventilated using natural ventilation.

Each studio setup will have a ‘Safe Zone’ for the photographer based around the camera.  This zone will be cordoned off using disposable barrier tape at adult knee and waist height. The cordon will provide a pathway for the pupils and staff to move safely into and out of the studio posing area and minimise their interaction with the studio equipment. The safe zone will ensure photographers are socially distanced from the pupils and staff they are photographing.

Photographers should try to minimise the use of school equipment such as chairs/benches.

Photographer outer clothing should not be laid on the floor or school benches/chairs. Photographers should use a coat hanger for jackets and cardigans.
 
PHOTOGRAPHING PUPILS/STAFF
With current social distancing guidelines, photographers will not be able to pose pupils. A strict ‘No Touch’ policy will be observed. Pupils and staff will be ‘posed’ by verbal guidance and gestures. It is requested that school staff assist, where possible, any pupils that may experience difficulty in following such guidance such as EYFS and KS1 pupils.

Whilst multiple photographs may be taken to capture the best portrait of the pupil, only one photograph will be provided for each pupil. This will be a traditional style school portrait. Until current restrictions are lifted it will not be possible to produce multiple photographs or contemporary style portraits for each pupil, especially in an environment where photographers are not able to pose pupils.

Under current social distancing guidelines and pupil ‘Bubbles’ it is possible to take group photographs. However class and year groups can also be produced using individual pupil portraits in a grid ‘Year Book’ style print if the school would prefer.

Pupils and staff will follow the same one-way pathway to enter and exit the studio posing area. Queuing children will be socially distanced in accordance with school policy. To maintain social distancing and the integrity of the ‘Safe Zone’ staff will not be able to view their photographs on the rear of the camera. 

The current fabric covered posing stool cannot be used within schools. Where possible all pupils will be photographed standing up. Where this is not possible pupils will be photographed sat on the metal bench which will be cleaned after each use. PPE should be worn by the photographer when wiping down the bench as it is outside the ‘Safe Zone’.

Photographers are prohibited from using their current fluffy/fabric toys to engage children. Wooden, plastic or metal alternatives will be used instead. In addition, photographers will not be able to handle or use toys and props provided by the school. 

If a school has provided SIMS style information (Name, Class, Student Number) for database upload, the pupils will have to be arranged into register order prior to photography. The photographer will hold and retain all the Phototronics produced SIMS cards. Please note that such photography will take slightly longer than normal.


PACKING DOWN FOR LUNCH
If a job requires the photographer to pack down their studio for lunchtime, the photographer will need to be informed at the start of the job. Please note that both partial and full pack downs will take slightly longer than normal and more time must be allocated to allow the photographer to pack down safely. Similarly, additional time should be provided to set up the studio after lunch.

For both full and partial pack down, the equipment must be located in an area that will be shielded from contact with either pupils or staff.

After the camera has been packed away, the photographer’s individual PPE must be worn when packing down. All pupils and staff must remain socially distanced until the equipment is packed down. The disposable barrier tape and disposable industrial hygiene wrap from the metal bench should be placed into a pedestal bin liner which is then sealed by tying in a knot and stored with the equipment.

During lunch the photographer will not be allowed to stay within the school building.


PACKING DOWN AT END OF JOB
The camera can be packed away prior to wearing individual PPE.

Similar to packing down for lunchtime, photographer PPE must be worn when packing down and all pupils and staff must remain socially distanced until the equipment is packed away.

The disposable barrier tape and disposable industrial hygiene wrap from the metal bench should be placed into a fresh pedestal bin liner along with any disposable waste from a lunch pack down.

Lights, backgrounds and wiring should be packed down as normal. All stands should be wiped clean with industrial wipes and their feet sprayed with industrial cleaner prior to placing in their storage carry cases. The metal bench and tripod should be wiped down and feet strayed prior to packing away. Wipes used should be disposed of in the pedestal bin liner along with any disposable PPE. The pedestal bin liner should be securely knotted for safe disposal at Phototronics Office following the job.

Similar to upon arrival, school staff are prohibited from carrying or moving any photographic equipment.


SIGNING OUT & LEAVING THE SCHOOL
Before equipment is loaded into their vehicle, the photographer should spray the bottom/wheels of carry cases and the metal bench with industrial cleaner. 

Once all photographic equipment has been removed from the building and/or packed into their vehicle, photographers will sign out as normal.

Photographers will no longer collect a compliment slip when leaving a school.
 
Prior to getting into their vehicle, photographers must clean their hands with hand sanitiser and spray the soles of their shoes with industrial cleaner.


PREVIEW CARDS/PACKS FOR SCHOOLS
Preview Cards/Packs will be packed in a ‘clean’ environment by staff wearing facemasks and gloves.

Preview Cards/Packs will be delivered by courier or Phototronics Staff wearing appropriate PPE and observing social distancing guidelines. Couriers will follow their own company policy regarding PPE and social distancing.


SAFE WORKING IN PHOTOTRONICS OFFICE
Strict rules have been put in place for everyone entering the Phototronics office to protect employees and to ensure adherence to government safe working guidelines.

To reduce contact between employees, a rota will limit the number of people in the building and prevent contact between photographers from different teams.

Individual PPE will be worn by all staff within the office.

Cleaning procedures have been established for individual electronic equipment such as computer terminals, keyboards, mouse and monitors. In addition to the regular cleaning routine for the building there are specific cleaning procedures for entering and exiting the office building.

A dedicated safe Waste Point has been established for photographers to dispose of their secured pedestal bin liners of waste from jobs.   

Any employee showing COVID19 symptoms will not be allowed in schools or the Phototronics Office building. Staff showing such symptoms will be asked to self isolate and follow NHS guidance for testing.

Any employee diagnosed with COVID19, will follow Government (NHS) guidance. This currently requires 14 days isolation and completion of Track & Trace information.