Face Coverings from Monday 14 May
On Monday 17 May the country’s roadmap out of lockdown moves to Step 3. As part of the updated guidance face coverings in education has been amended and face coverings will no longer be recommended for students in classrooms or communal areas, in all schools. Face coverings will also no longer be recommended for staff in classrooms. In all schools, the Government continues to recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible.
Importantly, the guidance also says: “The reintroduction of face coverings for students or staff may be advised for a temporary period in response to particular localised outbreaks, including variants of concern. In all cases, any educational drawbacks should be balanced with the benefits of managing transmission.”
What does this mean for Welling School?
We recognise that some members of our school community remain highly anxious and therefore if your child would like to continue wearing a face covering in communal areas or in a classroom they can. They can also ask for a face covering if they need a new one during the day. However, from Monday we will not enforce the expectation that students wear a face covering in communal areas and classrooms. We will also no longer hand out disposable face coverings on the school gate.
It is important that as a whole community that we continue to be careful and take steps to reduce the risk of infection. This includes making sure your child takes a lateral flow test twice a week. In school, students should also ensure that they clean their hands more often.
The updated guidance does give the school more flexibility around how we are able to operate the school. Currently, we are working with the Trust and the staffing body to develop a plan that will hopefully see teachers return to their classrooms with year group bubbles moving around the school. We are currently anticipating that we will have a plan in place to start on Monday 7 June. In advance of any changes these will be explained to students and parent/carers. There will also be time in school to ‘train’ students in how movement around the school will work.
However, apart from the change to face coverings, all other COVID-19 measures that are currently in place will remain until May Half Term.
I would like to thank you for your continued support and before half term I will write to all parent/carers with an update setting out how the school will operate after May half term. If you have any queries regarding this letter please contact the school on firstname.lastname@example.org.
With very best wishes.
Mr R Pett