25th Nov, 2020
Use of face coverings in school: Update to Welsh Government guidance
The Welsh Government has updated its operational guidance on the use of face coverings in schools.
For your information the Operational guidance for schools and settings from the autumn term (version 4) can be found here <https://gov.wales/operational-guidance-schools-and-settings-autumn-term-version-4-html>
The Welsh Government Written Statement: Update on use of face coverings in schools and colleges can be found here <https://gov.wales/written-statement-update-use-face-coverings-schools-and-colleges>
Although the Welsh Government Guidance continues to advise that the wearing of face coverings in schools is not mandatory, they have updated the wording in their guidance - please see the extract below:
The guidance now states that face coverings should be worn:
- in all areas outside the classroom by staff and learners in secondary schools and colleges
- on dedicated school and college transport for learners in year 7 and up
- by visitors to all schools and colleges, including parents and carers picking up and collecting children.
This updated guidance will necessitate a change in the school's operating procedures. Therefore, from Monday 30 November 2020 all pupils will be required to wear a face covering when inside any building in school. Coverings will need to be worn upon entry to all buildings until pupils are seated at their desk in a classroom. Coverings can then be removed. At the end of each lesson, face coverings will again need to be worn until pupils leave the building or reach their next lesson within the same building.
Face coverings will also need to be worn on entry to the main dining hall and Scholars 6th Form café, while ordering and paying for food and when finding a seat. Face coverings can then be removed. On leaving the dining hall or Scholars, pupils will again need to wear a face covering.
Some parents may have seen the Welsh Minister for Education stating on television on Monday 23 November 2020 that face coverings should be worn everywhere outside the classroom including outside school buildings in "playgrounds". However, we are not expecting pupils to wear face coverings outdoors unless they wish to do so. Pupils can also continue to wear face coverings in classrooms should they wish.
We would encourage face coverings to be washable and reusable rather than disposable in nature. This will help to address environmental sustainability and reduce potential littering problems.
Should there be a specific medical reason as to why your child cannot wear a face covering, we would be grateful if you could contact the school to enable us to discuss the situation.
Thank you in anticipation of your cooperation regarding this matter.