Return to work protocols for staff

Here you will find information and guidance about Brighton Grammar’s plans for a safe 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 staff return to work protocols that were put in place in late 2020 largely remain as is, with some slight adjustments (indicated in green text below). Please take some time to review these changes and refresh your understanding of the protocols below.

Transition to on-site learning/working 

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’s Senior Executive continues to monitor the advice provided by the Australian and Victorian Government, and Victorian Chief Health Officer, in order to ensure staff, students and our community, are well supported during this time.

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 able to socially distance;
  • 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 they are teaching. 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.
  • Instrumental music tutors are able to return to onsite lessons. Choirs and lessons with brass/wind instruments are also able to commence with appropriate COVIDSafe protocols in place (i.e. physical distancing, increased ventilation).
  • 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).
  • With the current low levels of community transmission (or indeed no community transmission at present), the risk to vulnerable staff is extremely low. Should community transmission increase in future and you fall into any of the above vulnerable categories, please contact your Head of School, the Chief Operating Officer or Director of Human Resources.

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 times when you are not able to socially distance. It is therefore recommended that you carry a mask with you at all times.
    • 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 will have their temperature taken as they arrive on campus. Note: we no longer require students to have their temperature taken when they arrive.
  • 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 are required to wear a mask at times when you are not able to socially distance.
    • A face mask needs to cover both your nose and mouth.
    • 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.
  • Gloves will be available for staff who have allergies to cleaning products (please log a ticket through My Maintenance). Should you wish to discuss this further please speak with your Head of Section/Chief Operating Officer.
  • All classrooms continue to be provided with a cleaning/hygiene station, which includes disinfectant cleaning spray, tissues, hand sanitiser, paper towel and bins. If these supplies run low, please log a ticket through My Maintenance.
  • 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.
  • In accordance with Government guidelines, the School will be undertaking regular end of day cleaning to ensure that all spaces remain clean and the 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. These will be updated to reflect the recent change to density limits (1 person per 2 square metres).
    • 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 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.
  • The school canteen will re-open this term. Please ensure relevant processes are followed in terms of social distancing and traffic flow. These will be communicated separately.
  • Professional learning and staff meetings will commence onsite in so far as social distancing and density limits of meeting rooms are adhered to. The status of School Assemblies and Chapel Services will be communicated in the very near future as we are awaiting further clarification of the guidelines. It may be that these can commence in the Secondary School if masks are worn by those in attendance. Assembly and Chapel is likely to be able to commence in the Junior School. Further information will be communicated by the relevant Head of School in the near future.
  • School excursions, sports programs (including use of the gym) and Outdoor Ed programs are able to commence onsite in so far as the COVIDSafe principle’s are adhered to (i.e. social distancing, using outdoor spaces where possible, registering attendance at external venues etc).

Staff Wellbeing protocols

  • 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

  • Visitors are allowed back onsite. Prior to moving to a meeting room/classroom, all visitors must have their temperature checked, use hand sanitiser and log in at Reception as a visitor. Staff are asked to be mindful of density limits in meeting rooms when making such bookings for meetings with visitors.

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.