Update - Face Coverings
Published on 01/09/20
As you know, the government changed its position on face coverings earlier this week. We have carefully considered our decision on how we implement this guidance.
We have decided that within communal areas (not including classrooms) such as corridors or similar areas, students and staff can choose to wear a face mask if they wish. This is in line with the following government guidance: “where on top of hygiene measures and the system of controls recommended in the full opening guidance to schools and FE colleges and providers, permitting the use of face coverings for staff, pupils or other visitors would provide additional confidence to parents to support a full return of children to school or college”
The reasons for this decision are that currently, our school is not within a “local lockdown” zone subject to additional measures such as requiring the wearing of coverings in communal areas within schools. We have also been able to put in place core measure that will support students in working safely around the school and the systems are robust and well planned. I do understand that some people will find the extra reassurance of being able to wear a face covering in some areas of the school helpful and it will support them in feeling confident around the building. I will closely monitor the situation and contact you if this changes.
If you are intending for your child to wear a face covering in communal areas, you will need to send them in to school with a supply of disposable or washable facemasks for them to wear. The school will not be able to provide them unless it is for emergencies as we are being provided with a very small contingency supply for this purpose.
To help with this, please make sure your child knows how to use a face covering safely and hygienically. There are links below to guidance on face coverings and how to use them below. Please remind your child, this does not include classrooms and they will be expected to remove their face covering on entering a classroom. I do not want a supportive measure to become a potential point of conflict between staff and students.
HOW CAN I WEAR AND STORE MY FACE COVERING SAFELY?
Below you can find written and visual instructions about using face coverings.
You can also watch this video (please note that this video was produced for Sheffield City Council, where the requirements for face coverings in schools are different to Derbyshire; however, the advice on how to wear face coverings safely is the same):
WHY SHOULD I WEAR A FACE COVERING?
Face coverings help protect others from COVID-19, particularly if you have it without knowing. Face coverings work by catching the small droplets that we spread when we talk, cough or sneeze, which might contain the virus. Your face covering helps protect the people around you and their face coverings help to protect you.
Remember if you have symptoms, you should stay at home, self-isolate and get a test.
WHAT KIND OF FACE COVERING SHOULD I USE?
- For schools, fabric face coverings are recommended, rather than medical masks.
- A fabric face covering should cover your nose, mouth and chin and should fit without any gaps between it and your face.
- It should be made of at least 2 layers of fabric. Ideally it should be made of 3 layers: an outer water-resistant layer, a middle filter layer and an inner water-absorbent layer.
HOW TO PUT THE FACE COVERING ON
- First clean your hands with soap and water (for 40-60 seconds) or hand sanitiser (for 20-30 seconds).
- Check the face covering - do not wear it if it is wet, damaged or dirty.
- Your face covering should cover your nose, mouth and chin.
WHAT TO DO WHEN WEARING A FACE COVERING
- Do not touch the face covering while wearing it to avoid contamination.
- If you do accidentally touch your face covering, clean your hands.
- Do not wear your mask under your nose, around your neck or on your forehead.
- Remember a face covering does not mean that you do not need to socially distance or wash your hands!
HOW TO TAKE OFF YOUR FACE COVERING
- Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser before removing your face covering.
- Remove the loops or ties from behind your ears without touching the front of the face covering.
- If your face covering is clean and dry and you want to re-use it, store it in a clean plastic, resealable bag.
- Wash your hands again after you take it off.
RE-USING YOUR FACE COVERING & DISPOSING OF THEM
- Do not reuse your face covering if it is dirty, wet or damaged – use a different one.
- Remove the bag by the straps when you take it out of its plastic bag.
- Wash your face covering with soap or detergent after each day that you use it, preferably at a high temperature.
- If you need to throw away used face coverings dispose of them in your ‘black bag’ waste bin at home, or a covered litter bin if you’re outside or at school.
- Do not put them in a recycling bin as they cannot be recycled through conventional recycling facilities.
- Take them home with you if there is no litter bin - do not drop them as litter.
- You do not need to: put them in an extra bag or store them for a time before throwing them away.