Advice on Face Coverings
The guidance from the Government regarding how to open schools safely has remained largely unchanged since early July, which has allowed us to continue our planning over the summer in the way we had expected. One issue that has been covered extensively in the news more recently has been about face coverings, and whether staff or pupils should wear them in school. The guidance from the Government on this last week is that face coverings are only necessary in secondary schools in an area of local intervention (as listed on this government website), where they should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the school, such as in corridors and communal areas. However, they should not be worn in classrooms, where protective measures already mean the risks are lower, and where they can inhibit learning.
As we are not in an area of local intervention, there is no recommendation for face coverings (latest advice updated 4th Nov 2020) to be worn by staff or pupils, except where they are using public transport to get to school. Instead, we will be following the existing guidance carefully, and will be training and informing all staff and pupils about how to keep themselves and others safe when coming to and from, and being in school.
The recent media attention, and the fact that people have become used to wearing masks in shops and elsewhere over the past six weeks, has meant that some people may now feel more comfortable wearing face coverings to school and in some cases in corridors. While we would not recommend it, if this is the case, we will support your child to wear a face covering safely and make sure they know our expectations about safe use. Ultimately, we want to make sure there is no barrier to your child attending school every day, once we reopen this term; if you remain concerned and would like to talk to us about face coverings, or indeed any other aspect of safety in school, please contact your Academy.