Dear Parent/ Carer,
As you may be aware, late last night the Government changed their advice regarding the wearing of face masks in schools. This was in response to the World Health Organisation (WHO) statement, which advised that “children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area.”
Previously the Department for Education said that masks should not be worn in schools and led to increased risk of transmission if not used properly. This guidance has now been updated and the Department for Education has stated:
‘Nationwide, while the government is not recommending face coverings are necessary, schools will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas if they believe that is right in their particular circumstances’
At East Barnet School we have decided to err on the side of caution, to ensure that all members of our community feel safe, and have decided that students will be asked to wear face masks in communal areas, for example in corridors. In classrooms the use of a mask will be up to the discretion of the teacher or if parental permission is given their child to wear a mask at all times. The risk assessment will be updated in time for our return to school to reflect these changes.
Please ensure your child has a mask for school. Students will be advised how to use masks appropriately in their reintegration sessions week beginning 7th September 2020. We encourage the use of reusable masks as they are better for the environment. The school will provide a small plastic bag for students to store their mask in between use. Please note that masks must be appropriate for school use. They should be plain in design, they must not be offensive and must be worn sensibly. Any students wearing an inappropriate mask or intentionally misusing a mask will be required to take it off.
I will of course review this decision in light of any updated Government guidance and any changes in the local situation.
Ms L. Swaine