As you are probably aware, Birmingham will have additional restrictions from Tuesday 15 th September following a rise in cases of Covid-19. These restrictions do not apply in school in the sense that pupils can still be in groups of more than six, but additional measures will now be put into place.
When an area moves into local restrictions, schools move to a Tier 1 response. The guidance from the Department for Education states the following:
The default position for areas in national government intervention is that education and childcare settings will remain open. An area moving into national intervention with restrictions short of education and childcare closure is described as ‘tier 1’. There are no changes to childcare, and the only difference in education settings is that where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.
All nurseries, childminders, schools, colleges and other educational establishments should remain open and continue to allow all their children and young people to attend, on site, with no other restrictions in place.
At the time of writing this letter, we have not been informed of the official start date for tier 1, but as a school we will start these actions from Tuesday 15 th September.
In order to be as clear as possible, pupils should wear face coverings in the following areas/at the following times:
Entering the building at the start of the day and exiting at the end
When they line up in the morning and enter the building / when they leave classrooms at the end of the day and exit the building
When moving from one classroom to another
When accessing Student Services/using the machines to top up accounts
In corridors / when travelling to toilets
In the toilets
Lining up for food in the canteen
At any other time where they could come into contact with someone else in close proximity
We will refine and add to this list as we receive more guidance and have more time to reflect
At present, pupils do not need to wear a face covering when they are outside during break and lunchtime, unless they choose to do so or if they are in close proximity to another person. If the guidance changes we will inform you as soon as possible. Face coverings will not be worn in lessons and I have suspended assemblies due to the increased infection rate in the city.
Pupils should observe the following guidelines to ensure they keep their face coverings clean and as sanitary as possible:
Keep the face covering in a small plastic bag that can be sealed when not in use (a ziplock freezer bag is ideal)
Dispose of any dirty face coverings in a bin
Do not share face coverings with others
Use a different face covering if you are travelling to and from school by public transport
It is understandable that for some pupils, wearing a face covering is not pleasant. However, we must do our best to ensure that we are following the guidance for local restrictions. Wearing a face covering will give other pupils a greater sense of security and will help everyone in our community feel safe. If your child is medically exempt from wearing a face covering please contact your child’s Head of House. Staff will also be wearing face coverings in communal areas.
I am sorry that we are moving to these additional measures so quickly into the start of the new academic year but I am sure you all understand and appreciate that we must follow the guidance. We already have enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures in place and will continue to operate these systems as part of our ongoing response.
Face Mask Letter HB 14.09.2020
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Miss H Burrows