PPE when caring for children with PMLD

I am concerned about the govt guidance for schools and carers, especially the absence of any mention of PPE when caring for children with PMLD. This is particularly relevant in special schools. It all seems to be a generic guidance for vulnerable children.

Hi @Murree

Is it the guidance published by the Government yesterday that you are referring to?


Thankyou for this; is there a survey of how many special schools are using Full PPE during personal care . As far as I am aware staff use gloves and aprons to change the vulnerable children attending schools at present.

Please could I have advice if you work in a special school

I am a teacher in a generic special school. My class is for students with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). Most of my class are at home but 4 children, who are classed as vulnerable or whose mental wellbeing is suffering at home, are in class. The staff and I provide students with direct care with eating and drinking, postural management and personal care. I have read all the government advice and there seems to be a gap where students with PMLD are concerned. Other than using the same PPE for personal care ( gloves and aprons). Face coverings are only mentioned in regard to aerosol generating procedures or if a child is showing symptoms. Bearing in mind that all my students attending school have conditions which put students in the clinically vulnerable ( but not extremely vulnerable) group, what should we be doing to protect the students when we we have to be within two metres of them? (Which is nearly all the time) Because of small numbers of students in school, we have had a rota in place sharing the running of the class between two teams. My team of staff wear face coverings and aprons and gloves. The other team do not. The headteacher is following government and Public Health England advice for schools to the letter, but wearing PPE other than gloves and aprons for personal care is personal choice. I am confused and conflicted to the point of tears each week about this issue . Should all staff working with students with PMLD wear face coverings to protect the students even though official guidance says no ? Advice for care settings which provide the same type of care would tell me to wear a face covering. But because I work in a school I do not? Again, my emphasis is to protect the child I am helping to drink, eat and get into equipment.


I am a nurse at a special school and the head has invested in masks and visors for staff who are within 2 meters particularly feeding and changing. I think that some schools are choosing to do more than government guidelines

Best Wises Sue


in our special school staff who work with students who arent able to social distance or who require contact for postural management, interactions etc are all required to wear PPE aprons, gloves and masks. we also have glasses/ googles available for students who may spit. When involved in intimate care masks must be FFE2 not just surgical masks.

This is in line with the risk assessment from the LA who also supply the PPE

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The national guidance should be following your wise head teachers protocols . How can we make them do that ? I know a nursery school with special needs children who are not recommending masks when toiletting the children. I feel that this puts the staff and other children at risk. Would like organisations like PMLD

Which Local Authority did the risk assessment ? I am so concerned that many of the children are in schools run by academy’s and these risk assessments don’t apply to them unless they are govt guidance. We need these types of forums to support SEN children and staff who work for them.
Let’s not end up like care homes - forgotten!

We are based in Leeds and are a LA school