Safeguarding considerations for Schools: Self-isolation in a boarding school

As the outbreak has evolved, boarding schools have sought clarity as to how to implement self-isolation for pupils in boarding houses. The DfE has updated its guidance for residential settings (which includes boarding schools) on this topic (available here), as well as the helpful resources available through the Boarding Schools Association: BSA Covid 19 Guidance.

This guidance includes what boarding schools should do if a boarder starts to show symptoms of COVID-19 (including in terms of self-isolation). The guidance clarifies that boarding schools are usually considered households for the purposes of the household self-isolation policy. This means that the setting should self-isolate if a boarder shows symptoms.

The approach to self-isolation will however depend upon the layout of boarding houses and staff arrangements. Therefore, boarding schools will need to decide whether the whole setting should be treated as a single household or as multiple households. For example, where boarding provision is spread across several, separate buildings, you may wish to treat these as different households. Advice can be sought from Public Health England’s local health protection teams, if needed.

The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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