The Department for Education has published updated guidance on Aerosol Generating Procedures

The Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care guidance has been updated today, Friday 13 November. In collaboration with Public Health England, the DfE have reviewed and updated the section of the guidance on Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs) in education and children’s social care settings. This revised guidance has sought to balance the need for children and young people requiring AGPs to be in their school or college whilst ensuring that the safety of all staff and pupils has been considered.

The guidance highlights additional considerations to support children and young people who require AGPs. This is because AGPs can increase the risk of coronavirus transmission in the presence of a positive case between those giving and receiving care.

Additional considerations include:

  • Settings should be supported by local partners to review and build on existing risk assessments. This allows the setting to consider any adaptations that they may need, for example, designating a room for undertaking AGPs, or if within a classroom, making sure that all other staff, children and young people are at least 2 metres distance away with a window opened for ventilation.
  • The child, young person or learner’s lead health professional should oversee their care assessments. 
  • Public Health England local health protection teams can advise on infection prevention and control concerns about the child, young person or learner, or the setting.

The DfE do not expect that settings will require specialist equipment, for example, tents or airflow systems.

Dame Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children, said:

“CDC welcomes this guidance as it is essential that as many children and young people return to school as possible. Many have been prevented because the previous guidance did not sufficiently address AGPs in the community for children. It is important that settings and services continue to communicate clearly with parents on progress so that children, young people and learners who need AGPs can be supported to return to their setting safely”.

You can find the guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe