Face Covering use at ALNS in response to increased transmission rates

As you will be aware, the Prime Minister announced on 31st October that a national lockdown will come into effect from Thursday, 5th November. However, in his statement it was made clear that schools would remain open,

‘My priority, our priority, remains keeping people in education – so childcare, early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will all remain open. Our senior clinicians still advise that school is
the best place for children to be’.

The full statement is available online:

Government guidance for schools was last updated on 22nd October and it is possible given yesterday’s announcement that this will be updated again over the coming days. The school will update families immediately of significant changes, should there be any.

Existing guidance does not recommend the universal use of face coverings in schools and when transmission levels were low locally, we made the decision that students could opt to wear a face covering in communal areas should they wish. However, we are mindful that transmission rates are now increasing locally and nationally, and that students are likely to be spending much more time indoors as the weather worsens over the winter months. Consequently, with effect from 4th November, we will be asking students to wear a face covering in indoor areas outside of the classroom where social distancing cannot easily be maintained, such as busy corridors and communal indoor areas e.g. when queuing for food serveries. School staff already wear face visors in communal indoor areas and will continue to do so. We would expect face coverings to be removed by students before entering classrooms unless Government guidance changes. We are also very mindful that some individuals are, of course, exempt from wearing face coverings.

We would be grateful if you would discuss the contents of this letter with your child and ensure that they bring with them to school an appropriate fitted face covering, an example shown in the photo below, in a sealable plastic bag to be worn from the 4th November, 2020.

Safe wearing of face coverings requires cleaning of hands before and after touching – including to remove or put them on – and the safe storage of them in individual, sealable plastic bags between use; staff will remind students of these basic expectations.

Detailed guidance on wearing face coverings (including exemptions) is available online and we would politely ask parents/carers to review this with their child, in particular the section on ‘How to wear a face covering’, should they have not done so already.

The school’s other systems of control remain in place in order to keep the school as safe as possible on our return from the half-term break.

We would kindly ask parents for their understanding and support in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Nys Hardingham

Matthew Hutton
Deputy Headteacher