I hope you have had a good holiday. and I’m sorry my first communication of the new school year is, perhaps not a total surprise, covid-related.
The main point is that students and staff are required to wear masks in College except for lessons (this is optional), unless they are exempt; this will be reviewed by Public Health by 17th September. Students are already expected to wear a mask or face covering on public and School transport.
Devon and Cornwall have been designated “Enhanced Response Areas” for covid-19 as rates are among the highest in England, and this new requirement is from Public Health. At the moment, no other restrictions are being put in place, although everyone is reminded about good hand hygiene and the good sense in standing apart where possible.
Public Health recommendations for Devon & Cornwall in general are:
- Limit your social contacts to stop the virus spreading
- Meet others outside, because that’s safer than meeting inside
- Continue to wear face coverings when indoors in public places
- Wash your hands properly and regularly
- Have the jab if you are an adult and haven’t yet had it. Please have both doses as soon as you can. If you’re aged 16 to 18, please take up the vaccination when offered to you
- Self-isolate if told to do so by NHS Test and Trace
- Self-isolate and arranging a PCR test if you show any symptoms of having the virus – the high temperature, new and continuous cough, or change of your usual sense of taste or smell
In a letter specifically for schools,
“due to moving to an enhanced response area, secondary school pupils and all education staff are being asked to return to wearing face coverings in communal areas and I would be grateful if you would cascade this information to parents/carers. This does not currently extend to classrooms and will be reviewed 2 weeks after the start of term by public health. In relation to introducing the use of face coverings:
- Any guidance should allow for reasonable exemptions for their use.
- Whilst the recommendation is for communal areas not classrooms, pupils, students, staff and visitors would be free to wear a face covering in other areas (for example classrooms) if they wish to.
- The guidance already recommends the use of face coverings on home to school transport.
- No pupil or student should be denied education on the grounds that they are, or are not, wearing a face covering.”
This required use of face masks starts immediately, so it will apply if you are visiting the College before the official start of term.
Thank you !