As you will be aware the government has announced new guidance regarding the use of face coverings in school which will come into effect from 1st September 2020. This information is aimed to support staff, students and parents understand the latest guidance as they prepare to return to school in September.
Nationally the government is not recommending face coverings are necessary in most education settings because the systems of control, that are already in place in educational settings provide additional measures to reduce the risk of infection transmission.
Most Schools and colleges will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that it is right in their particular circumstances.
What about schools in Manchester?
Consistent with The World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) new advice, schools and colleges should take additional precautionary measures in areas where the transmission of the virus is high. These areas are defined as areas of national government intervention. Manchester is currently an area of national government intervention (a local intervention lockdown area).
Schools and colleges in these local intervention (lockdown) areas, (where Year 7 and above are educated) should ensure that face coverings are worn by adults and pupils when moving around, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
It will not usually be necessary to wear face coverings in the classroom, where protective measures already mean the risks are lower, and they may inhibit teaching and learning.
If local Intervention (lockdown) restrictions are lifted then then this guidance will continue to apply until the school notifies you of any updated guidance around the use of face coverings.
When will my child need to wear a face covering at school?
- When moving around the school on corridors.
- When using the school toilets.
- When walking through communal areas e.g. the dining room, main reception, the atrium.
- Using shared office-space and staffrooms (for staff).
When will my child NOT need to wear a face covering at school?
- When they are sitting down in classrooms having their lessons.
- When they are outside the building having their break.
- When they are sat down eating their lunch in the dining room.
What will my child need?
Your child needs to come to school with:
A face covering. We would recommend a reusable one so that they can use it more than once, as they will need to take it on and off several times during the school day. If this isn’t an option, they will need to bring in several single-use face coverings each day. Their face covering should be secured to your child’s head using ear loops only.
A sealable plastic bag to keep their face covering in when they’re not using it so that it doesn’t contaminate (or get contaminated by) other surfaces in school.
Where can I get a face covering?
- Reusable and single-use face coverings are available to buy in shops or online.
- We’ve attached instructions from the government on how to make a cloth face covering how to make a cloth face covering.
- Supervise your child if they’ll be making it themselves.
Full face coverings such as balclavas / ski masks must not be brought into school. For safeguarding purposes it is important that we can quickly identify individuals so we know that our school community is safe.
How should my child use their face covering?
Watch this video from the World Health Organisation with your child so they know how to wear their face covering safely.
- Their face covering needs to cover their nose and mouth when they’re wearing it allowing them to breathe comfortably.
- They shouldn’t touch the front of the face covering or the part that’s touched their mouth or nose.
- They shouldn’t wear their face covering on their neck or forehead.
- They should only handle the face covering using the straps, ties or clips.
- They should avoid taking it off and putting it back on again in quick succession.
- They shouldn’t place it down on their desk / table in front of them.
- They must not give their face covering to someone else to use or share other people’s face covering.
- They should wash their hands regularly throughout the day using soap and water (for 20 seconds) or hand sanitiser.
- They should store their face covering in an individual, sealable plastic bag between uses.
- If it becomes damp, they shouldn’t wear it, and they should replace it carefully.
- Single-use face coverings should be disposed of after use (in a general waste / NOT recycling bin).
How often will it need to be washed?
Reusable face coverings should be washed at the end of each day, ready for your child to wear the next day.
You can wash and dry reusable face coverings with normal laundry – follow the washing instructions for the fabric and use normal detergent.
What if my child is exempt from wearing a face covering?
What about any younger children?
This guidance on wearing face coverings doesn’t apply to children under the age of 11.
What if my child forgets their face covering?
They should notify a member of staff as soon as they get to school.
We’ll have a small supply of spare face coverings available at school.
To be safe in the knowledge that everyone has one, please make sure your child has their own so that we can keep our supply of spares for emergencies.