I hope you and your families have had a good summer and are feeling ready for the return to school. We are very much looking forward to safely welcoming all of our students back. You can read our guidance on returning here:
Following an update to Government guidance released late last night, I wanted to write to you today to provide an update on the wearing of face coverings in and around the Academy: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education
The Department for Education has said the use of face coverings in schools are generally not necessary. The robust safety and hygiene measures that have been implemented, including students in consistent groups (bubbles), social distancing and undertaking regular hand washing will help control the spread of any virus.
This being said, the guidance has been updated to state that in areas of the country where the transmission of the virus is high and local lockdowns have been implemented, face coverings should be worn by all students when moving around the school. In the event of a local lockdown being implemented here, we would communicate with parents and students immediately and would provide disposable masks in the first instance.
We understand that some parents and students may feel more comfortable if they have the option to wear a face-covering on their return to school in September. Whilst not compulsory, face-coverings will be permitted where appropriate. This includes communal areas (such as corridors, sixth form common room, study rooms and the canteen if not eating) but will not necessarily be needed within the classroom where there will be social distancing and social bubbles in action. If a student wants to wear a face-covering in the classroom then we have no objection to this.
It is very important that when wearing a face covering at school your child understands the correct way to wear, handle and store them. If they are handled incorrectly it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. Information on wearing, handling and washing reusable face coverings, is included at the end of this letter and I would also encourage you to read the following Government guidance:
The masks are not mandatory in areas of low transmission and your child should already have an appropriate face covering for other settings such as shops. If you wish your child to wear a mask to school, you will need to provide it. We would ask that the face coverings are multiple-use, are as plain as possible and without any offensive or aggressive words or images on them. If you would like your child to wear a face-covering but are unable to access one, please do contact the school directly so that we can provide the necessary support.
The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff continues to be our absolute priority. We have worked tirelessly over the last few months to have all safety measures in place so that we can safely welcome your child back to school come September.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Ormiston Forge Academy
How to wear a face-covering
A face-covering should:
When wearing a face-covering you should:
When removing a face-covering: