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Worthing High School

Worthing High School

End of Autumn Term 2

Face coverings in school - updated 3.9.20

Latest message to parents and carers regardign face coverings in school.

Updated message from Headteacher 3.9.20 (all parent/carer email)

Face Coverings (note 1)

We are aware that there are varying arrangements across schools in the locality. As a school we are, as the guidance stands, not currently recommending students wear a face covering in school. There are a number of factors that are associated with safe and hygienic use of face coverings that we have listed below.

1) There are a number of protocols when wearing masks such as washing hands for 20 seconds before handling the mask and then washing hands for 20 seconds after wearing a mask which is not practicable in a school setting.

2) If masks become damp, are reused multiple times without being washed, are handled inappropriately or placed anywhere other than in a sealed plastic bag once they have been worn they may lead to an increase in the transmission rates of COVID-19.

3) Students would have to ensure they do not place their mask down leading to the mask being classified as medical waste which would then need to be disposed of in line with Public Health England regulations which is not practicable in our school setting.

4) Our risk assessment, approved by Trustees, has been thoroughly prepared in the context of our particular school setting.

5) Making masks optional may lead to students not wearing masks being unlawfully challenged by other students leading to heightened anxiety for those students unable to access a mask.

We will be continuing to follow DfE guidance pertaining to the wearing of masks in our school and hope that you understand the rationale for our current stance. We thank you in advance for your support in getting our students back into school in the most positive and normal way possible to enable them to focus on their schoolwork and reconnect with their peers.

Note 1 - A face covering is defined by Public Health England as, “something which safely covers the nose and mouth. Face coverings are not classified as PPE (personal protective equipment) which is used in a limited number of settings to protect wearers against hazards and risks, such as surgical masks or respirators used in medical and industrial settings”. 

Updated message from Headteacher 28.8.20

As you will have seen, the DFE issued a press statement on Tuesday regarding the wearing of face coverings in some secondary schools in England.

The full DFE guidance document was released earlier this week and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education

The DFE guidance specifically focuses on those schools in high infection areas. As you will know, our school is not classified as being in a high infection area.

We are not currently looking to make any changes to our existing risk assessment and will not be asking students or staff to wear face-coverings whilst on the school site. Whilst there is discretion for us to allow face-coverings to be worn in communal areas, not in classrooms, we are not seeking to implement this at this time.

We wish to maintain as normal a working environment as possible when students return in September. This issue will be kept under constant review.

Copy of email sent to all parents, carers and staff on Wednesday 26 August.

Dear parents, carers and staff

As you will have seen, the DFE issued a press statement last night on the wearing of face coverings in some secondary schools in England.

We will of course be reviewing the full DFE guidance document when it is released later this week. The press release from the DFE specifically focuses on those schools in high infection areas. As you will know, our school is not classified as being in a high infection area.

If we need to make any changes to our existing risk assessment and start of term Covid guidance we will communicate with you promptly.

This issue will be kept under constant review as the guidance is released over the coming days.

 

Pan Panayiotou

HEADTEACHER