Fortunately, we had previously developed a clear rationale for face coverings in anticipation of September and the distinct possibility of a change in government policy.
School policy on face coverings is as follows for youngsters aged 12 and over.
School policy is based upon the latest guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England.
It is not mandatory for all pupils to wear a face covering at this stage. It is a parental and pupil choice if they are to wear a face covering and school will fully support this decision. If pupils have any underlying medical conditions, parents should seek advice from a medical professional before recommending use of a face covering. Face coverings should be issued from home and regularly cleaned or replaced.
A face covering is seen as an additional measure for safety and not a replacement for other effective hygiene and social distancing measures put in place by school. School has designed its day and curriculum to ensure that communal contact both inside and outside of ‘year group bubbles’ is extremely restricted and almost non-existent.
A face covering should be in a plain colour and is not to include any patterns, logos or any writing or emblem that could be interpreted as menacing and / or offensive. A face covering should be worn properly to cover both nostrils and mouth. Face coverings should not be cumbersome or heavy and although shielded, breathing should not be restricted. A face covering worn upon arrival to school and at dismissal is seen as an appropriate time for its use. Likewise, when pupils are in communal toilet facilities, face coverings can provide an additional measure to support with effective hygiene. Other appropriate times for usage would include small movement on corridors to other classrooms, during social time and in particular when lining up in the school canteen. Pupils will be asked to remove face coverings during tutor times and in lessons. Face coverings should be kept in pupil pockets when not being worn. Pupils should not exchange face coverings with their peers and they should not be placed or left on any desks or surfaces.
Individual contexts and circumstances regarding vulnerable pupils and families to be discussed with the relevant Heads of Year.
Staff also have the same option to wear a face covering with rules on usage the same as written above.
School will review its policy on face coverings in light of any additional government or scientific guidance.
Please contact school if there are any further issues or questions.
Mr C Crehan
Accounting Officer St Teresa of Calcutta Multi-Academy Company.