St Edward's Church of England Academy

Face Coverings in School, 13th January 2022

Published: 13 January, 2022

Updated advice from the DFE was issued to schools on 31st December 2021.  Full details of the DfE’s ‘Schools Covid-19 operational guidance’ (January 2022) can be found here:  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1044890/Schools_guidance_January_2022_.pdf

Page 7 of the DfE operational guidance details revised requirements for the use of face coverings in schools, effective from the beginning of the Spring term in January 2022.  The guidance states:

Face coverings help protect the wearer and others against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of Covid-19. Where pupils in Year 7 (which would be children who were aged 11 on 31st August 2021) and above are educated, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by pupils, staff and adult visitors when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas. This is a temporary measure.

From January 4th, we also recommend that in those schools where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms. This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons. This will also be a temporary measure.

Pupils in these schools must also wear a face covering when travelling on public transport and should wear it on dedicated transport to and from school. We would not ordinarily expect teachers to wear a face covering in the classroom if they are at the front of the class, to support education delivery, although settings should be sensitive to the needs of individual teachers.

Face coverings do not need to be worn when outdoors. Schools, as employers, have a duty to comply with the Equality Act 2010 which includes making reasonable adjustments for disabled staff. They also have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils, to support them to access education successfully. No pupil should be denied education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face mask.

Please find below our current policy as regards face coverings. Face coverings must be worn by students inside the school building in communal areas including corridors and other public areas (unless the student is exempt for medical reasons). The school will already have been notified of any pre-existing medical conditions.

Until at least Wednesday 26th January 2022 (when the Government will review this advice), face coverings must also be worn in the classroom (unless the student is medically exempt). Face coverings MUST be the school regulation plain blue triple ply cotton face mask (unless a medical condition requires the use of an alternative, including face shields).

Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth. Any member of staff can ask a child to take off their face covering for purposes of identification anywhere on the school site.  Students at St Edward’s Academy will adhere to DfE operation guidance in order to halt the transmission of Covid-19 in our community.  St Edward’s Academy expects that all students support the nationwide effort in preventing further impact of Covid-19 on our community and lifestyles. 

Please note any child travelling on public transport or going into a shop must also now wear a face covering (unless medically exempt).