RE: Face Coverings
You may be aware that the Department for Education has now advised that secondary school children should wear face coverings in areas of local lockdown where infection rates are high, or where the Principal/Head-teacher decides that this is the safest method of operating. This guidance is based on the following scientific evidence as offered by the Department for Education:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) usually spreads by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces, if you touch a surface and then your face without washing your hands first. This is why social distancing, regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes is so important in controlling the spread of the virus.
The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.
This guidance (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education) is specific to communal areas in schools such as corridors and spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. Classrooms have been configured to allow us to achieve an appropriate distance between children, so face coverings will not be required during lesson time.
On the basis of this guidance, we have made the decision to require the use of face coverings for all staff and students when moving around, such as in corridors and in communal areas. Therefore can you ensure your child/children have plain face coverings to bring to school, as well as a plastic, sealable bag to keep them in when not in use. Face coverings should not have any patterns, pictures, logos or words on them but can be any plain colour. It remains the responsibility of the family to ensure that face coverings are washed daily and replaced as necessary; ensuring health and hygiene standards are maintained. Face coverings worn when travelling to the academy will need to be removed prior to entering the building to avoid contamination and replaced with another face covering. We will make sure that all children know how to apply and remove their face coverings safely, and ask that you reinforce these messages at home using the government guidance found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
If you believe that your child/children should be exempt from wearing a face covering due to a disability or other concern, please inform their Head of Year in the first instance who will discuss individual cases directly with myself.
If you will have difficulty providing a face covering for your child/children, please inform their Head of Year as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made.
To maintain the high behavioural standards around the academy, we will expect the following in regard to face coverings:
• Face coverings will be plain and not display any patterns, pictures, logos or words on them
• Students are expected to observe the safe and appropriate application and removal of face coverings once this has been explained to them
• If students are using their face coverings in a disruptive manner, this will be dealt with as disruptive behaviour, and dealt with in accordance with our behaviour protocols
• Students must never share face coverings
• Tampering with another students’ face coverings would be classed as a significant health and safety breach and will be dealt with accordingly
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the information above, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I would like to thank you once again for your support over the last few months during these unprecedented times. I believe that if we continue to work together, as a community, we can keep transmission rates in our community low and everyone safe.
Looking forward to seeing you all next week to start the academic year 2020-2021.