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Dear Parents and Carers
As you will be aware, the government has announced a change to its guidance over the use of face coverings in schools.
As outlined in my letter on 17th July, the school has put in place several measures to minimise contacts between people and to enhance personal hygiene and cleaning. The advice of Public Health England is that these measures will have the most impact in mitigating against the transmission of Covid-19. It, therefore, remains the case that all students must adhere to the strict social distancing and enhanced hygiene rules that will be implemented in school when they return in September.
However, we realise that some students may feel more comfortable wearing face coverings in communal areas within school. Therefore, in line with the renewed guidance, students may wear face coverings in public spaces around school, as outlined below:
- when moving between lessons
- when queueing for lessons, toilets, lunch and buses
- during break and lunch times.
We do not expect students to wear face coverings in the canteen itself, as they would not be conducive to eating. Face coverings will not be worn in classrooms. Students may wear face coverings on the yard at break and lunch, if they wish, as well as when they arrive at and depart school. As previously stated, face coverings on buses are obligatory.
I have outlined below the government’s position on face-coverings in education settings:
The guidance now states: Nationwide, the government is not recommending face coverings are necessary in education settings generally because a system of control, applicable to all education environments, provides additional mitigating measures. Schools and colleges will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that it is right in their particular circumstances.
The guidance goes on to state: On the basis of current evidence, in light of the mitigating measures education settings are taking, and the negative impact on communication, face coverings will not generally be necessary in the classroom even where social distancing is not possible. There is greater use of the system of controls for minimising risk, including through keeping in small and consistent groups or bubbles, and greater scope for physical distancing by staff within classrooms. Face coverings can have a negative impact on learning and teaching and so their use in the classroom should be avoided.
If any student chooses to wear a face covering:
- they must clean their hands before and after touching the mask – including to remove or put it on. We advise those pupils wearing a face mask to come to school with a personal supply of hand sanitiser.
- they must store the mask in an individual, sealable plastic bag between use. Parents/carers will be responsible for ensuring their child’s mask is clean or new each day
- reusable face coverings must be completely plain in design and black or white in colour; in the case of disposable masks, they should wear the widely available standard white and blue design.
School have a limited stock of plain reusable masks. If they intend to wear a mask, we encourage students to provide their own; however, we can supply them for a price of £1.50. Please contact the school office if you need us to provide a mask for your son or daughter.
If the local Covid-19 situation changes, or in the event of a local lockdown, these arrangements will be re-assessed, and I will advise you accordingly.
We are looking forward to seeing the young people again soon, and thank you again for your support of the school.
Mr. B. Robson
Acting Head Teacher