Specific COVID Guidance – Face Masks for Monday 9 November

We just wanted to reiterate the guidance on face masks for Monday 9 November as in the world of COVID in schools things come to light all of the time and it is not always possible to predict every possible eventuality straight off.

We have tried to relay everything through the following Q&A framework:

When do face masks need to be worn from ?

We expect children to wear face masks in communal areas from Monday 9 November. This is until the government changes their regulations.

Where do the face masks need to be worn ?

We are asking for them to be worn in communal areas – so in corridors, whilst queuing for the canteen, in communal classrooms, and in assemblies. If students wish to wear them in a lesson then they can do so but they may need to lower them on occasions to speak.

What is the school expecting in terms of face masks ?

We would ask you to provide your child with two face masks – ‘One to Wear and One as Spare’. We would prefer them to be reusable, fabric ones, rather than disposable ones, as they are more likely to be looked after and less likely to be dropped or left. This reduces to risk of us effectively dealing with a biohazard.

Will staff be wearing face masks ?

Generally the same expectations apply, but if a member of staff is managing a group of children then they need to speak and be heard. Our staff have been told they need to be COVID-savvy but they also need to be able to do their job.

What happens if my child loses their face mask ?

They simply put on their spare one from their bag – this is why we are pushing the message of ‘One to Wear and One as Spare’.

What happens if my child is exempt from wearing a face mask ?

Just let us know via covid@friaryschool.co.uk and we will ensure they get a sticker in their planner which says this. They can present this if they are spoken to any member of staff.

Will my child be punished if they do not wear a face mask ?

It is never our default position to issue a punishment – but your child will be spoken to and we will ascertain what is going on. The expectation is that all children should wear them – but there can be exemptions. If a child breaks their arm then they don’t wear their blazer – and we do not put them in detention for incorrect uniform.

Will my child be served in the canteen if they do not have a face mask ?

Yes – but again they will be challenged on it as the serving area is a high density location and there are other students and staff to keep safe. Naturally, if a child has an exemption, then they will have the message in their planner to show it. In time, supervisors will know who they are.

I personally do not like face masks and do not want my child to wear one – can I refuse to let them wear one ?

Of course, you can, but for the sake of protecting other children and staff who are very vulnerable, or live with loved ones who are, then we would urge you to think again. If your child was on crutches after an accident then you would ask us to ensure everyone else takes care around them and is respectful of their vulnerability – the face masks are in many ways no different.

I have other questions I want answering – how should I get in touch ?

Just email covid@friaryschool.co.uk and we will., get back to you ASAP.

Matt Allman,  Headteacher, added: “The acceleration of cases in our local community is not going to miss out local schools so the face masks are an important step at this time. We are grateful to the many parents who have already go in touch to be supportive. Take care this weekend and over the next few weeks.”