To all parents and carers.
We have met as a Senior Management Team this morning and have agreed the following guidelines for wearing of face coverings in school from Monday.
Face coverings will not be compulsory in school, for staff or students, at this stage. Derby is not in one of the current areas at risk of additional 'lockdown' measures and we have had no instruction from government or Local Authority that face coverings should be compulsory in school. We are, however, a very busy site with a large number of students and staff. Our plans for re-opening are sound and I believe school is safe for both staff and students to return, but there will still be busy areas and 'pinch points', such as corridors or toilet/food queues where there will be numbers of students in one place at one time. There is a strong argument in this situation that the wearing of face coverings would be an added safety measure to manage the risk of Covid-19 infection and, as a result of this, our current position is that face coverings are strongly advised for students in communal areas outside of the classroom. Students will be asked to remove face coverings in lessons and should keep a small plastic bag inside their school bag to place their face covering when not in use.
Students will be allowed to wear a disposable/single-use face mask or a re-usable fabric face covering whilst in school. The styles of mask acceptable to wear in school are shown in the images below.
Face coverings must fit over the nose as well as mouth and have elastic fittings around the ears. They should be plain and not include symbols and/or logos.
Scarves, bandanas or similar face coverings not matching the descriptions above are not permitted in school and any students wearing these items will be asked to remove them.
Face coverings can be worn in communal areas and during social times, such as on corridors at lesson changeover, break and lunchtimes, as well as when students are travelling to and from school. Students will be asked to remove face coverings during lessons in the classroom and for physical exercise during PE.
Students travelling to school using the school bus, operated by Harpur’s, must wear a face covering whilst travelling on the bus to and from school. Further information on the school bus will be sent over the next two days.
Students travelling via public transport must also adhere to the current government guidelines and wear a face covering at all times.
Latest advice from WHO on wearing of face masks for young people is as follows:
‘Children who are in general good health can wear a non-medical or fabric mask. This provides source control, meaning it keeps the virus from being transmitted to others if they are infected and are not aware that they are infected. The adult who is providing the mask should ensure the fabric mask is the correct size and sufficiently covers the nose, mouth and chin of the child.
Children with underlying health conditions such as cystic fibrosis, cancer or immunosuppression, should, in consultation with their medical providers, wear a medical mask. A medical mask controls spreading of the virus and protection to the wearer, and is recommended for anyone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.’
When wearing a face covering students should:
- wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on.
- 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.
- avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)
- when removing in the classroom, place your face covering into a plastic bag in your school bag.
When removing a face covering:
- wash 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 hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed.
For more information on correct wearing of face coverings, please watch the following short film from the World Health Organisation.
The guidelines above are relevant to students returning to school next week, at this present moment in time, and may change at short notice, depending on local or national guidance. The situation will be reviewed daily and if school policy changes on the use of face masks, students, parents and carers will be informed through the usual channels.
If your child has a medical condition requiring them to wear a face mask at all times in school, including lessons, please contact us email@example.com and address your email to Mrs C Barrows, Medical Officer.
On a final, unrelated matter. We have been informed today that roadworks currently taking place on Pasture’s Hill directly outside school are likely to continue into the start of term. We are talking to the contractors as well as the Local Authority to ensure the safe movement of students on the pavements outside of school, ahead of the start of term next week.
There will, however, be no available parking for parents and carers on Pasture’s Hill for the foreseeable future; when we have a more accurate timescale I will let you know.
Depending on the entrance allocated to your child, please park a suitable distance away from the school site when bringing or collecting your child from school. Alternatively, please encourage your child to walk to school. Your cooperation on this matter is greatly appreciated and will help ensure the safe arrival and departure of all students to school each day.
Thank you for your continued support. Further information will be sent over the next few days, ahead of the start of term next week.