Return to work protocols for staff

Here you will find information and guidance about Brighton Grammar’s plans for a safe, staged return of staff to face-to-face learning.

Please be assured we are taking a measured and considered approach to a return to work, as the health and wellbeing of our boys, staff and families is paramount.

Please visit this page regularly for updates.

Brighton Grammar School is committed to ensuring a safe place of work, learning and wellbeing for our staff and students. The return to work protocols that were put in place earlier in 2020 remain as is, with some slight adjustments (indicated in blue text below). Please take some time to review these changes and refresh your understanding of the protocols below.

Transition to on-site learning/working during Term 4

It is the intention that all staff transition back to on-site learning/working in accordance with Government advice. For academic staff, this will correspond with the return of the Year levels taught. For professional support staff, the return will vary depending on the need for the role to be on-site. Please refer to the Chief Operating Officer or your Head of School to confirm arrangements.

COVIDSafe Plan

The School is committed to ensuring the following COVIDSafe principles continue to be carried out whilst operating on-site. This, however, also requires a commitment from all staff to:

  • ensure physical distancing (1.5m) occurs amongst staff on-site;
  • wear a mask when not teaching;
  • practise good hygiene;
  • tap in/out when on-site to ensure accurate records of attendance are kept;
  • if unwell, to stay home.

Further information regarding the above principles can be found in the protocols below.

A review of the School’s emergency management plan has also recently been undertaken and we are comfortable that we are prepared in the event of a potential COVID-19 case. As required by the Victorian Government, the School has a COVIDSafe plan which outlines the steps we have taken in order to protect our staff, students and visitors during the return to on-site learning. This plan also contains the steps the Headmaster/Senior Executive would take should there be a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at BGS.

Expectations regarding staff attendance

  • Academic staff will be required to attend school when the year levels they teach return to on-site learning. Academic staff who do not have teaching/pastoral commitments at either end of the day are encouraged to come in later/leave early. You should only be on-site when you are performing duties that require you to attend on-site.
  • Professional support staff who are able to continue working remotely (i.e. their roles do not require them to be on-site) are required to do so. Should you wish to return on-site, even for a short time, please contact your manager/Chief Operating Officer as you will require a permit. Please note: this may change over the course of the term. Any changes to this requirement will be communicated as they come into effect.
  • Arrangements for Instrumental music tutors will be confirmed by the Director of Music as some lessons may commence on-site (taking into consideration social distancing and other return to work protocols).
  • Staff with children who have not as yet returned to school, and no other arrangements can be made (e.g. they return to their school as a child of an essential worker), are asked to speak with their Head of School, Chief Operating Officer or Director of Human Resources to discuss support available. 
  • The School continues to be mindful of our staff who may be considered ‘vulnerable’. As per advice provided by the Victorian Chief Health Officer, teachers and other school staff may be at greater risk of more serious illness if they ontract coronavirus if they are:
    • Aged 70 years and older;
    • Aged 65 years and older and with chronic medical conditions;
    • Of any age and have a compromised immune system;
    • Are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and are aged over 50 years with one or more chronic medical conditions.
  • Should you fall into any of the above vulnerable categories, or have concerns about returning to work, please contact your Head of School, the Chief Operating Officer or Director of Human Resources.
    • The School is supportive of discussing alternatives such as continuing to work remotely where possible or taking some form of paid or unpaid leave such as annual leave, long service leave (if available) or leave without pay. These requests will be subject to the School’s usual leave application process. Any arrangements put in place will be reviewed regularly during the course of the term, taking into consideration Government advice.
    • Note: a medical certificate may be required to support your application to continue working from home (with the exception of those over 70 years of age).

Health & safety protocols

  • To minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19, please remember to follow the same hygiene protocols
    encouraged of our students.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm running water. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
    • If your hands are not visibly dirty, then an alcohol based hand rub is appropriate, or soap and water.
    • A face mask is required at all times, except when teaching (although you may choose to wear one). Face masks are an additional protective barrier and are to be used in conjunction with other hygiene protocols. Note: all students at BGS from Years 7 to 12 are also required to wear a mask. Students in the Junior School who wish to wear a mask are able to do so.
    • Used tissues, paper towels and masks should be disposed of in rubbish bins provided.
  • Staff who feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as a sore throat, low grade fever (37.5 degrees or above) and a slight runny nose, are asked to stay at home. Please follow your usual process for advising your illness (including completing a leave form).
  • All staff and students will have their temperature taken as they arrive on campus.
  • All staff are asked to begin their day by entering the school grounds via their relevant reception area.
  • All staff are required to tap in and out each day using the system set up in each reception area. We are aware that this is not something that we ordinarily expect of staff, however given we are returning to on-site learning with a staged approach, and are offering a higher degree of flexibility as to when staff are required on-site, it is important for us to know who is on-site when.
  • Staff were provided with a personal hygiene pack in Term 2 which included hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and other such items. Additional personal bottles of hand sanitiser are available at each reception area.
  • All staff are required to wear a mask at all times when on-site. Reusable, cloth BGS face masks were provided to staff during Term 3. Please contact Main Reception if you have not received your mask.
    • A face mask needs to cover both your nose and mouth.
    • A face mask is mandatory (when not teaching) as it provides the greatest protection. It is recommended that staff wear a surgical (single use) or reusable cloth mask when on-site. The Chief Health Officer recommends reusable masks have three layers.
    • Wearing a face covering helps to keep you, and others you come in contact with, safe. As COVID-19 is spread from close contact with a person who has the virus, wearing a face covering will help stop droplets spreading when someone speaks, laughs, coughs or sneezes.
    • Posters have been placed around the School to remind staff of the correct way to put on (don) and take off (doff) their mask. How to wear a face mask poster.
    • Staff are also reminded to wash their reusable cloth mask after each use. If during the day your mask is visibly dirty or wet, do not continue wearing your mask as it needs to be washed. Should this occur, contact your nearest reception area to collect a disposable surgical mask.
    • Further information regarding face coverings can be found on the Department of Health & Human Services, Face coverings at work webpage.
    • All staff will also undergo compulsory training in the use of face masks prior to returning on-site. Staff will be required to acknowledge their participation in the online training (more details to follow).
    • Although masks are not mandatory when teaching in the classroom staff are expected to wear masks at all other times while on site at BGS. This includes times such as, while in staff rooms, on yard duty and in your office. Note: All students from Year 7 to 12 will be required to wear a mask at all times while at school. Please note: this may change over the course of the term. Any changes to this requirement will be communicated as they come into effect. Junior School students who wish to wear a mask will be supported in doing so.
  • We ask that all staff continue to wipe down their desks at the end of every class (for academic staff) and at the end of the day (for those staff working in their office). Mobile phones should be wiped down regularly.
    • Academic staff are asked to spray the desks at the end of the class and have the boys wipe these down with paper towel. All students and staff can then apply hand sanitiser following this process as they leave the classroom. This will leave the room clean for the next teacher/class using the room.
    • For professional support staff, it is also advised that you wipe down your keyboard/mouse at the end of each day.
  • Academic staff are required to create an increased flow of air in their classroom (by leaving the windows and doors open where possible).
  • All classrooms have designated teacher areas that should not be crossed by the students to reinforce social distancing protocols.
  • It is recommended that all academic staff in the Secondary School take their own whiteboard markers and erasers to their classes.
  • All classes in the Secondary School will be allocated a physical classroom to assist with distance learning requirements during the staged return to on-site learning. Academic staff who teach across numerous year levels will therefore be able to teach remotely from their office or the designated classroom if required.
  • The School has increased the daily cleaning regime with progressive cleaning occurring throughout the day (both indoors and outdoors) to ensure that risks of transmission are reduced for high-touch areas.

Social distancing protocols

  • Please don’t congregate in staff common rooms for long periods of time. Signage has been placed on the entrances to these areas indicating how many staff can be in the room at any given time. It is important for you to take heed of these restrictions.
    • It is recommended that you bring your own crockery/cutlery to school and that you use the paper towel provided, instead of tea towels, to clean these items.
    • You may remove your mask to eat or drink but must put it back on immediately after.
  • You are welcome to catch up with colleagues on your breaks; if doing so, it is preferred that this takes place outdoors (for e.g. at the tables and benches located outside for staff use). Please refrain from eating lunch with colleagues in staff common rooms or offices.
  • Social distancing protocols for students have been put in place including where classes are to line up prior to class and one-way traffic in specific corridors/walk ways.
  • As the school canteens continue to be closed, it is ok for staff to leave the premises to purchase lunch/coffee etc. If you do leave the grounds with the intention of returning, please be mindful of social distancing and mandatory mask requirements whilst off site and ensure you use the hand sanitiser station set up at reception upon your return. You will also be required to tap out/in at reception.
  • Some staff may be asked to temporarily move offices to assist with social distancing requirements. You will be contacted by your Manager/Head of School if this is the case. Please ensure your office has a bin. If not, we ask that you log a ticket with My Maintenance.
  • Professional learning, staff meetings, school assemblies and chapel services will continue via Zoom to assist with social distancing requirements.
    • Please be mindful of social distancing requirements for ad-hoc meetings that may arise throughout the day on-site. Masks must be worn in any face-to-face meetings that cannot be conducted remotely.
  • School excursions, sports programs (including use of the gym), Outdoor Ed programs and any gatherings that would ordinarily occur during term will be postponed/cancelled. Please note: this may change over the course of the term. Any changes to this requirement will be communicated as they come into effect.

Staff Wellbeing protocols

  • We acknowledge that returning to on-site learning may be unsettling for some, particularly those who have been working remotely for an extended period of time. Continuing to juggle children at home during the initial weeks of term, caring for vulnerable family/friends and learning a new way of working with your colleagues and students may be challenging. Please keep in mind the range of support structures in place to assist you with your health and wellbeing during these times (as outlined below).
  • All staff have access to the school’s Employee Assistance Program should you feel the need for some additional support. Converge International offer confidential telephone and remote counselling services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be contacted on 1300 687 327 or online via www.convergeinternational.com.au
  • Your BGS support network, a group of colleagues who are willing to be available for any BGS staff member for any reason, is also available. Further information can be found in the most recent edition of the Wellbeing Weekly or by contacting Human Resources.
  • detailed list of other external supports are available can also be found on the COVID-19 Staff FAQ page. This list includes information about organisations such as beyondblue, the Black Dog Institute, Headspace, kids Help Line and more. Download the list.
  • For staff who are interested in learning more about COVID-19 including things to do to keep yourself and others safe, the Department of Health has a COVID-19 specific training module which is short and informative. This online course is free and covers topics including signs and symptoms, keeping safe, hygiene and myth-busting. Access COVID-19 infection control training.

Other protocols

  • No visitors (with the exception of some contractors who will be temperature checked upon arrival) will be allowed onsite. Couriers, Australia Post, parents dropping off items left at home etc will be asked to ‘drop and go’.
  • Please ensure your home address and emergency contact details are current. You can do this via the Staff Kiosk.
    • Visit: synweb.brightongrammar.vic.edu.au
    • Enter your BGS username and password
    • Select “Human Resources”, then ‘Staff Kiosk’
  • Visit: synweb.brightongrammar.vic.edu.au
    • Enter your BGS username and password
    • Select “Human Resources”, then ‘Staff Kiosk’
    • Send your changes to Fiona Kerr
  • Keep an eye on the COVID-19 Staff FAQ page as this will be updated regularly.
  • Don’t forget your staff pass so that you can tap in/out and use the printers/photocopiers.

Please contact your Head of School, the Chief Operating Officer, or Human Resources should you have any queries about the above protocols or should you continue to have concerns specific to your area/situation.