As Australia is pushing to get the economy back on its feet, one of the first steps to ensure that this happens is getting students back into school so that parents can return back to work. Yet for many schools, such as Kambala School in Sydney getting back to school comes with numerous challenges. That is why many of the schools are proceeding with caution, opening up sometimes just one or two days a week to test the waters and see if they can ensure staff safety during COVID-19 as well as the safety of the students to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus.
Kambala is a private education institution that offers curriculum for young children through to Year 12 where students can receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for higher education and academic excellence. As the school begins to navigate the difficult task of opening up, they are coming up with the best solution to protect their frontline staff as well as their students.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the school is following the physical distancing requirements set out by the Australian government. Safe Work Australia recommends keeping 1.5 meters distance from any other person, which would require a 4 metre square around each student to maintain appropriate physical distancing to avoid transmission of the virus through droplets. Social distancing can be difficult when working with children, who tend to be extremely social by nature and maintaining this distance between students and staff can be more challenging in an education environment.
Kambala has better prepared for this challenge by installing countertop protection screens at one of the most vulnerable environments in their school, the canteen. The countertop protection screen helps to provide a protective barrier between staff servers and students allowing them to provide them lunch, without having to worry about droplet transmission particles. The new equipment not only allows staff members and students to feel safe during lunch, but also provides better trust between the school and parents who may be apprehensive about their children returning to school.
Portable Partitions Australia (PPA) was the company responsible for the installation of the new countertop protection screens and have become the go-to company for COVID-19 protection equipment. They offer a wide range of protective gear for all industries looking to reopen safely during the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Whether a business is looking for a perspex screen, a temperature check screen, or another form of barrier protection, PPA can deliver. Scott Leighton of Kambala discusses the excitement of the new equipment acquisition and how it will provide better protection for both students and staff.
“Great fantastic, everybody loves them. We are a school and there is a lot of face to face contact, initially thought the screens would work for the reception area but ended up purchasing two for the school canteen as it is a high traffic area and has 2 service points, canteen staff and students are ecstatic with them,” he said.
“We are thinking of keeping them as a permanent addition depending on the landscape into the future, we are running at 35% capacity and anticipate that number to rise in the next few weeks,” Leighton states.