There has been much discussion recently regarding the wearing of face coverings within schools.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said ‘In local lockdown areas children in year 7 and above should wear face coverings in communal spaces. Outside of local lockdown areas face coverings won’t be required in schools, though schools will have the flexibility to introduce measures if they believe it is right in their specific circumstances.’
Government guidance states that face coverings do not need to be worn by:
• children under the age of 11
• people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability.
• anyone speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate.
Face coverings are mainly intended to protect others, not the wearer, from COVID-19 transmission and are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing. When wearing a face covering, it is important that the wearer does not touch the front or the part that has been in contact with the mouth and nose. Also any surface which face coverings have touched need to be disinfected.
DFE guidance states that ‘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.’
I can assure you all that stringent hand washing and cleaning protocols are in place within school to help to prevent the spread of infection. Please read the Parent Handbook and Risk Assessment which are available here for further details of the measures we have put in place to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
Therefore, at this moment in time, we are not expecting that students wear face coverings whilst they are in school.
As you are all aware, the guidance is changing at a fast pace. The school will however, keep abreast of the latest government advice regarding face coverings and other COVID-19 related guidance, and act accordingly.
Please do get in touch on email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns regarding the wearing of face coverings.