COVID-19 & MTA

21st August 2020 Update:

MTA is happy to confirm we are now able to book for our September term.

We continue to update our COVID-19 procedure in line with best guidance available to us, and the safety and well being of our student, staff and community is our number one priority. 

To book classes please visit: https://www.montagetheatre.com/classes/ 

 

COVID-19 PROCEEDURE

We have decided to post this in full to demonstrate the commitment we have in safeguarding every member of the MTA family.

COVID-19 PROCEEDURE

PURPOSE AND STATEMENT:

PURPOSE AND STATEMENT:

Montage Theatre Arts (MTA) is committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of all students, staff and volunteers and will continue to follow the advice of the UK Government, NHS, Public Health England and our local Health Protection Team.

The current (summarised) advice is:

  • Educational settings are opening for all year groups in September 2020
  • OOSS can open from the beginning of the school summer holidays
  • Social distancing is 2m (or 1m+ if 2m is not possible or with risk mitigation)
  • Anyone who is showing symptoms of a cough and/or fever are to self-isolate for 10 days
  • Anyone with confirmed COVID-19 or contact by track and Trace are to self-isolate for 14 days

When MTA can provide in-person classes and workshops we intend to do so.

GENERAL NOTES:

All current social distancing measures will be implemented throughout this procedure.

Groups of no more than 15 students will be supervised by 1 or 2 teachers. For the purposes of child-friendly and age appropriateness MTA will call these groups “bubbles”.  There is to be no cross contamination between bubbles as students will not mix and spaces will be deep cleaned between group’s use.

To attend classes, parents must agree to a health questionnaire being completed to confirm no one in the household has any symptoms or has been told to self-isolate. Children may supply their own PPE equipment, but it is not the responsibility of teachers to ensure it is used or worn correctly. It is not to be worn during physical activity.

No parents will be allowed on site, they must drop off and collect at separate entry points, to be allocated in writing before the course begins. Staggered drop off and collection times to ensure no overcrowding, and 2m markers will be laid out to ensure any queuing results in social distancing.

Upon arrival, all students are to immediately wash their hands and have their temperature taken through our infrared thermometer. Students should arrive in uniform and bring suitable dance shoes in a clearly named bag.

Any child with a fever must be immediately isolated and collected by their parents.

Students will be then taken to the space used for their classes where they will have been allocated a space to use throughout their session. An example of this (including safe spaces to walk) is included as appendix 1 of this document.

Students will also bring their bags in to this space, be allowed to change shoes and we can conduct lessons and activities. If sessions are longer than 45 minutes in length, there will be a staggered break to wash hands. Increased handwashing is encouraged particularly before and after eating or using equipment.

Breaks, moving to different spaces and the use of corridors and bathrooms will be closely monitored to ensure social distancing is always upheld. This will be through staggered breaks, toilet supervision and a one-way corridor system.

In the event of an emergency evacuation, site managers will be responsible for the safe evacuation of students and staff. Teachers will lead their group to the fire and emergency assembly point ensuring social distancing is maintained. Where risk of accident or injury in an emergency evacuation supersedes the danger of social distancing, children will be assisted in any way possible.

Any student/teacher or family member who is tested positive for COVID-19 up to two weeks post event dates must immediately inform MTA management. The bubble that is affected will immediately be notified including students/parents/teachers. Should this occur while classes are running, the bubble affected will be shut down, and spaces deep cleaned immediately follow government guidance “COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings”.

If a student is incapable of following new rules within the studio MTA, as mentioned in our student behaviour policy, has the right to remove the student from classes. This will be on a case-by-case basis and no refund will be offered.

SITE MANAGEMENT:

Site managers must ensure they have disinfectant spray/wipes before every session, or purchase some with petty cash. Site manager must also ensure that they have the full PPE equipment provided by MTA to be able to administer first aid.

All site management staff must immediately wash their hands for the prescribed 20 second period upon arrival at site and deep clean all rooms and equipment (if this is not done by the venue). They must also check their own temperature, record it and complete the staff health questionnaire.

Site Managers then must use disinfectant spray/wipes to clean any high contact points, including (but not limited to):

  • Door Handles
  • Sinks, Taps and hand dryers
  • Bannisters
  • Equipment used in class

Site managers must also check the quantity of soap and paper towels in bathrooms and contact premises if supplies are low.

Site managers must ensure the prominent display of hygiene posters (“catch it, kill it, bin it” and hand washing diagrams) and use low-contact electrical tape to mark sections in spaces to be used including in bathrooms. An example of this (including safe spaces to walk) is included as appendix 1 of this document.

Upon teacher arrival at site, site managers must ensure all teachers wash their hands and are temperature checked (which is recorded). Teachers must also be briefed daily and provided antibacterial spray/wipes and gloves if needed. They must also complete the staff health questionnaire.

Upon student arrival at site, site managers must ensure all parents complete the student health form before allowing their child(ren) on to site. Attendees then must wash their hands and temperature checked (which is recorded).

Site managers must ensure teachers are regularly washing their hands, especially when handling MTA, venue and personal equipment.

During operation, any communal space for adults (i.e. the staff room) must be cleaned down between teachers. While it is the teacher’s responsibility to conduct this cleaning, site managers must ensure it is conducted.

Site Managers must also wash their hands at regular intervals, no less than between each class or moving between student groups. This includes while moving between classes to supervise.

Site Managers must also wash their hands before/after eating.

Between each class site managers must again deep clean any space used and use disinfectant spray/wipes to clean any high contact points, including (but not limited to):

  • Door Handles
  • Sinks & Taps
  • Bannisters
  • Equipment used in class

Site Managers are expected to ventilate classes as much as possible, including opening doors and windows to encourage air flow.

Site Managers must keep a log of any prolonged breaking of social distancing to assist track and trace.

If a student is incapable of following social distancing guidelines or any new rules established to make MTA COVID-19 secure, the site manager must use their discretion in order to control the situation. This could include behaviour management and/or result in the child’s removal from courses. In this instance management must be continuously updated.

In the event of an emergency evacuation, as always Site Managers will be responsible for the safe evacuation of students and staff. Upon completed registers, Site Managers will also ensure social distancing is maintained.

Site Managers are expected to follow other NHS guidelines to avoid spreading the virus including washing hands before/after eating and reporting any potential symptoms/confirmed diagnoses to the office as a matter of urgency.

TEACHER/VOLUNTEER PROCEDURE:

All teachers and volunteers must immediately wash their hands for the prescribed 20 second period upon arrival at site. They must also do this between every class.

Teachers and volunteers are expected to assist site managers with student handwashing between lessons and deep cleaning during changeover.

During operation, any communal space for adults (i.e. the staff room) must be cleaned down between teachers of separate bubbles groups. Where resources are available, staff must use separate equipment. Teachers must clean before and after use of the kitchen and any cups/kettles/fridge/refreshment containers must be wiped with antibacterial wipes/sprays.

If teachers/volunteers are teaching at schools other than MTA, a meticulous log of these sessions must be kept in order to assist NHS track and trace and MTA in safeguarding students.

If a student breaks new social distancing rules, or any other rule implemented by MTA to safeguard students, site management must be immediately informed.

In the instance of an emergency evacuation, staff must lead groups to the fire/emergency evacuation point and ensure social distancing is being maintained.

Teachers and Volunteers are expected to follow other MTA procedure, social distancing and NHS guidelines to avoid spreading the virus including washing hands before/after eating and reporting any potential symptoms/confirmed diagnoses to the office as a matter of urgency.

OFFICE PROCEDURE:

Office staff must stay in regular contact with venues to ensure their opening and current COVID-19 situation (including any confirmed cases who have been present at the building during non-MTA operational hours).

Office staff will send, at minimum, weekly emails to update parents of MTA’s current stance with regards to COVID-19 including how we are helping the spread of infection and more general helpful links and information from UK Govt./NHS/Public Health England.

All high contact points in office must be disinfected at the beginning and end of each day. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Computers (keyboards, mouse and power/screen buttons)
  • Kettle and refreshment equipment
  • Door handles
  • Keys
  • Filing cabinets
  • Printer

Office staff are expected to follow other NHS guidelines to avoid spreading the virus including washing hands regularly and before/after eating. They are also expected to report any potential symptoms/confirmed diagnoses to the office as a matter of urgency.

 

PAYE staff will be entitled to sick pay as stated in their contract of employment.

IN THE EVENT A POSITIVE COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS OF A STUDENT

Office staff must alert all parents of students who have attended the same class as the diagnosed.

Office staff must alert all parents of students who have attended the same day as the diagnosed.

Office staff must alert all other staff and volunteers who were present on the same day as the diagnosed.

These email alerts must not include any identifying data.

These emails must also include up-to date information regarding what to do if they suspect a student, or a member of their household is developing COVID-19 symptoms.

Office staff will also alert venue managers.

IN THE EVENT OF POSITIVE COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS OF A TEACHER/VOLUNTEER/ON SITE STAFF

Office staff must alert all parents of students who were present at the same class as the diagnosed.

Office staff must alert all parents of students who were present the same day as the diagnosed.

Office staff must alert all other staff and volunteers who were present on the same day as the diagnosed.

These email alerts must not include any identifying data, without the diagnosed’s permission.

These emails must also include up-to date information regarding what to do if they suspect they, or a member of their household is developing COVID-19 symptoms.

Office staff will also alert venue managers.

IN THE EVENT OF POSITIVE COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS OF OFFICE STAFF

Other office staff must alert all staff the diagnosed has come into contact with.

These email alerts must not include any identifying data, without the diagnosed’s permission.

These emails must also include up-to date information regarding what to do if they suspect they, or a member of their household is developing COVID-19 symptoms.

Office staff will also alert venue managers.

Statement from our Board of Trustees

Click to read full statement

I am writing  to you on behalf of the MTA Board of Trustees to let you know the position regarding future classes. Our first priority is the health and safety of the pupils and staff in our school.

Following on from the PM’s press conference yesterday afternoon, with his particular reference to Londoners needing to “avoid all unnecessary social contact” we have taken the decision to:

Cancel all classes until Monday 23rd March (after which they will be provided online). 
We are also cancelling our annual showcase at the Michael Croft theatre scheduled for the 4th April 2010.

MTA hope, dependent on Government advice  to be able to run normal classes again by our summer term (which begins on the 27th April) and we are still planning to run our holiday courses. The holiday courses might enable those who are not able to work from home some respite (including medical professionals) and we are mindful of this. 

With regard to the showcase, we know how disappointed your children will be and how hard they have worked. We shall certainly try to rearrange this for a later date and shall arrange refunds during the coming week to those who have already booked tickets. 

This decision has not been taken lightly; the Board of Trustees and MTA Management have been in regular contact. As a small charity we rely on our income from classes and shows to support the organisation and we have responsibilities to staff and freelance teachers. We consider that at this moment it would be unwise for us to carry on as normal.

However, It’s not all doom and gloom!

From Monday 23rd March we will be holding ONLINE VIDEO CLASSES.

The format of these will be sent to you in due course and they can be accessed through any laptop/tablet or smartphone with internet connection. We hope to see you all through our webcams soon!

We know these are strange and uncertain times, and we thank your cooperation and understanding.

With kind regards and every good wish to you all,

Marian Cleary

Montage Theatre Arts

30th July Update:

MTA is hoping to announce, before 18th August, the return of our in-person classes from Mid-September.

We are currently working within government guidelines to run a Summer Holiday Programme, and are very confident that we will be able to translate this into our term time courses. Our priority is always to keep our students and staff safe, and we will continue to follow best practise advice across our organisation.

We will also continue to offer our online classes (via a live link from our classrooms) for those who remain shielding and/or vulnerable.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, and we look forward to announce that booking is open as soon as we are able.

2nd July Update:

MTA will be able to offer in-person holiday courses

30th June 2020 update:

MTA is currently in talks with venues to arrange safe, socially distanced summer holiday courses. More news to follow.

22nd March 2020 update:

MTA has launched an online programme of classes and activities.

Classes can be found here: Online Classes

Low and no cost activities can be found here: Montage Connect

20th March 2020 update:
Easter Holiday courses have been cancelled following government advice. We have contacted all booked students regarding this.

18th March 2020 update:
Student and staff welfare is our main priority; as such all after-school and Saturday classes have now been moved online (from 23rd March).
Please contact the office to arrange access to these.