Update on face coverings from 17th May
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you remain safe and well.
As you may be aware this week the Department for Education released updated guidance on the use of face coverings in schools.
Before going through the key points of the new guidance, I would just like to repeat how proud and grateful I am for the support of students, families and staff during this period where we have had to wear face coverings.
This has been a huge undertaking for everyone and wearing a mask for several hours a day is an inconvenience for everyone which has made communication much more difficult. This is especially the case for certain groups of students and staff who have done particularly brilliantly during this period of disruption.
Thank you all once again for your support on this issue.
With infection rates now low across East Devon we will be following government guidance on face coverings and so the following will apply from Monday 17th May.
Unless exempt, students will still be required to wear face coverings
• On public and school transport to and from College
• In all dining areas within the College
• Where a member of staff or student within a class remains vulnerable and therefore, in that particular lesson, will need to wear a face covering
Students will not be required to wear face coverings in
• Lessons (with the exception above)
• Communal areas such as collection points or when crossing sites
Staff are no longer required to wear face coverings unless they are in communal areas and social distancing cannot be maintained.
Of course, if students still wish to wear a face covering when they are moving around the site because of a vulnerability then they are more than welcome to do this. Please could you write a short note in their planner to explain why if you would like this to happen. If a face covering is required by your child when being taught, then please contact your child’s pastoral team at the College to discuss this issue further.
Since we will now be taking face coverings on and off more often it is really important that we do so safely. I have therefore included guidance below from the Government on how to do this.
It is really important to recognise that as a school community we have done exceptionally well with no large Covid outbreaks at the College over the past 14 months or so.
However, it is still important that we do not become complacent, particularly since coronavirus is very good at mutating and becoming easier to transmit. Therefore, all of our other measures such as collection points to avoid crowded corridors with mixed year groups, regular hand sanitising and staggered breaks will all remain in place for now.
The full updated guidance for schools can be found here and guidance on how to safely put on and take off a face covering can be found here.