Compulsory use of Face Coverings
I am sure that you are aware that from midnight today (Friday), the whole of London will move to ‘Level 2’ restrictions, which means Londoners must all follow extra rules to help stop the spread of Covid-19. Rates have been rising rapidly across London and are now classed as high. Therefore, new restrictions will be in place in London.
The key new rule that affects those living in London are:
You must not socialise with anybody other than members of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
The new rules include:
- Social mixing between households is not allowed indoors, including in homes, pubs or restaurants.
- The ‘Rule of Six’ will continue to apply outdoors, including in private gardens.
- Restaurants, cafes and pubs can remain open but must close by 10pm, and will need to follow the ban on households mixing indoor.
- Retail, schools, public transport and universities will remain open.
You can also read the government guidance for more details about the new restrictions.
This means that Welling School remains fully open for all students unless your child is unwell or having to self- isolate.
The most significant impact that ‘level 2’ restrictions have on the school is that from Monday 19 October face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors) and students when moving around indoors, such as in corridors and communal areas.
I do appreciate that this is a significant change to how we have been operating but this change is required to help keep all adults and students safe whilst on the school site. The school recommends that all students wear a non- disposable facemask as these will be more durable than disposable ones.
Facemasks must only be a plain colour. Preferably, they should be red, black or white, the school colours. Students should also take responsibility for their own facemasks and either dispose of them off site or wash them at home.
I have been encouraged this week how well students have adapted to our new rule of no physical contact. This was introduced in part to help protect students from Covid-19. With the introduction of students wearing facemasks I need to be clear that it is completely unacceptable for another child to touch or damage someone else’s facemask. In the first instance this will result in a C2 Consequence (1 hour same day detention) being issued. If there is a repeat of this behaviour the school will issue a more serious consequence.
I sincerely hope that parent/carers recognise why we are introducing the expectation that all adults and students wear a face covering when moving around indoors. In a school setting this is the most difficult time to maintain social distance and this change is designed to help keep everyone safe. If any parent/carers have difficulty with these new expectations I strongly advise you to make contact with the school so that a senior member of staff can speak with you.
Finally, I would like so share some further DfE guidance that the school is following.
Access to face coverings:
It is reasonable to assume that staff and students will now have access to face coverings due to their increasing use in wider society. Public Health England has made available resources on how to make a simple face covering. However, where anybody is struggling to access a face covering, or where they have forgotten it or it has become soiled or unsafe, the school has a small contingency supply to meet these needs.
No-one should be excluded from education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering.
Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. For example people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate. The same exemptions will apply in education settings, and we would expect teachers and other staff to be sensitive to those needs. We would expect teachers and other staff to be sensitive to these needs.
These are uncertain times for the school community but one of the best ways that we can all support each other is to make sure that our school remains fully open and that it is as safe as possible for all staff and students. I would like to thank parent/carers in advance for their continued support. If you have any queries regarding the content of this letter please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With very best wishes.
Mr R Pett