How Schools have used print as one of the measures for pupils returning

How the education sector has been handled throughout the coronavirus pandemic may be up for debate, but one thing is certain – teachers have been some of the unsung heroes of the whole crisis.

Teachers have been dealt a rather raw deal by the pandemic, having to expose themselves to almost as much risk as those working in healthcare. But it’s not only the teachers who have helped schools stay safe in these uncertain times, it’s how they’ve used various tools to keep kids and staff safe, such as printed signage.

Official government advice on signage is to “identify and implement the procedures to improve safety (for example, markings on the floor, signage)”. This might sound vague but there are dozens of ways in which this could be acted upon by schools using printed signage.

One-way systems – Children are difficult to control at the best of times and these are certainly not the best of times. Printed signage is the perfect affordable way to create one-ways systems in schools that direct traffic in a safe and convenient way.

Risk assessment – Printed signage can also be used to provide COVID risk assessment packages, which can also be laminated for easy cleaning.

Social distancing – We’ve all seen those now-ubiquitous signs printed on the walls and on the floors detailing just how far 2 metres is. By helping children visualise how far they need to stay apart from their friends and teachers, keep your distance signs have probably eliminated dozens of cases by now simply by virtue of their widespread use in schools. Signs can also be printed that detail exactly how many are allowed in a room at one time or rooms where students are not allowed.

Handwashing – Again, children are always having to be reminded to wash their hands and never has this been more important than it is right now. Printed signs can be used in bathrooms, hallways and classrooms to remind children to keep their hands clean and to remind them not to touch their faces.

Hand sanitiser – In areas where hand washing isn’t practical, signs can also be used to remind students to use hand sanitiser, with sanitiser stations now becoming commonplace in many schools.

Of course, it’s not through the use of printed signage alone that we’ll be able to keep our kids and teachers safe, but it will certainly prove invaluable. Many schools have lambasted the government for their last-minute guidance on returning schools but we are a few weeks into it now and everyone is just starting to settle into the new normal.

If COVID-19 cases continue to rise then schools could be closed again and nobody wants that. The only way to keep this virus at bay is to use all the tools at our disposal and to work together.

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