The coronavirus pandemic has impacted on every aspect of public life, not least schools, which closed to all but key workers’ children in March.
In June, children in reception and years one and six were allowed to return to primary schools, and those in years 10 and 12 went back to secondary.
Furthermore, the Government recently announced that all students will be returning to full-time education in September, and, to this end, funding has been made available to allow schools to purchase what they need to ensure pupils’ continued safety.
Here at Diamond Group, we’ve been working closely with local schools over the course of the pandemic, providing resources such as acrylic protection screens and furniture packs for temporary classrooms.
Claire Baker, business manager at Ryton Infant and Junior School Federation, said the main issue schools faced was the need to teach pupils in small bubbles of between six and 12 children – and this would still be a key concern from September.
She said: “Where we would normally have shared resources, we had to provide each bubble with their own equipment. This allowed each child to have their own technology, which could be cleaned regularly and therefore minimise contact outside of a bubble.
“By providing each bubble with their own printer thanks to Diamond, we have been able to maintain the same curriculum as we had done before the pandemic and produce packs for those children at home. Without the additional resources we would have been unable to do so.”
“From September, schools still need to maintain bubbles, although these will now be bigger than they currently are. However, there is a need to keep to social distancing and to change the physical layout of every classroom.
“While Government funding available, it is still necessary to manage the additional purchases carefully, getting the balance between budget, safety and wider opening right.”
At Diamond, we have kept up-to-date with the rapidly-changing guidelines for schools and workplaces, and are well-equipped to act quickly and efficiently when extra equipment is needed.
Claire added: “Diamond Group have helped tremendously over the pandemic by providing excellent continuous customer service with the products we already had in place, as well as sourcing a number of PPE items, such as 'sanitising stations' and perspex screens, allowing us to reopen safely to more children.
“They were always sending new items out which took the hassle of searching for products. The quality of their items, including floor stencils for social distancing, were far superior to other brands.
“Diamond have also provided extra printers very quickly, allowing us to continue providing a high standard of education, and, by continuing to provide good quality PPE and sanitiser refills, we can ensure a continuous supply of the equipment necessary to stay open.”
Diamond Group managing director John Burns added: “While the reopening of schools is obviously to be welcomed, we understand it throws up a variety of logistical and supply issues for schools.
“We are able to visit the premises whenever convenient to do an overview and survey, before using our findings to recommend the best way to remain covid-19 safe now and in future.”
The team at Ryton Infant and Junior School Federation are already looking forward to welcoming all their pupils back in September, while working with us to do everything possible to keep any risks to minimum.
Claire said: “During an already difficult time when staff were limited by budget and staffing resource, Diamond Group made everything so much easier from procurement to installation.
For more information on how we can help your school prepare for reopening please call 0191 519 3700.