Academy Update – Face Masks – 28/08/2020

Posted on: August 28, 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

We hope you and your family are well and are having an enjoyable summer holiday so far. We are very much looking forward to safely welcoming all our students back to our academy.

Ahead of this, I wanted to write to you today to provide an update on the wearing of face masks in and around our academy, following an update to Government guidance released on Tuesday.

The Department for Education has said the use of face masks in schools are generally not necessary, as the robust safety and hygiene measures that have been implemented, including students staying in consistent groups (bubbles), social distancing and undertaking regular hand sanitising, will help control the spread of any virus.

The Government guidance has been updated, however, to state that in areas of the country where the transmission of the virus is high and local lockdowns have been implemented, that face masks should be worn by all students and staff when moving around the school. In the event of a local lockdown being implemented here, we would communicate with parents, students and staff immediately and your child will be required to wear a mask in line with Government guidance.

We do understand, however, that some parents, students, and staff may feel more comfortable if they have the option to wear a face mask on their return to school in September. Whilst not compulsory, face masks will be permitted in communal areas (corridors, breaks and lunchtime areas) but should not be required within the classroom. If you do feel strongly that you would like your child to wear a face mask in the classroom due to specific circumstances, then please email your Head of Year and the appropriate arrangements can be made.

Face masks will be provided by the academy on request by Form Tutors. These face masks have been provided by Trutex (our uniform suppliers) and are reusable. These are the only face masks that can be used in the academy. If a student loses their face mask the academy can provide a new one at the cost of £1, in the same way as you would replace a lost tie. If a student has simply forgotten their face mask and wishes to use a disposable face mask the academy will provide them one.

It is very important that when wearing a face mask at school, your child understands the correct way to wear, handle and store it, because if they are handled incorrectly it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. For information on wearing, handling and washing reusable face masks, additional information is included at the end of this letter.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff continues to be our absolute priority and we have worked tirelessly over the last few months to have all safety measures in place so that we can safely welcome your child back to school come September.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Brennan

Head of School


How to wear a face covering

A face covering should:

  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
  • ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
  • unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged

When wearing a face covering you should:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
  • avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
  • avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
  • change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • avoid where possible taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession

When removing a face covering:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
  • only handle the straps, ties or clips
  • do not give it to someone else to use
  • if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
  • if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed