The Wales Health Minister and Minister for Education have made a statement around the recommended use of face coverings in the communal areas of schools. (Wednesday 26th August). The Welsh Government has extended the existing recommendation that children over the age of 11 wear a face covering in areas where social distancing is likely to be difficult to include the communal areas of schools. Schools are asked to consider their risk assessments to assess whether face coverings are required in communal areas.
Further information may be found here.
We have considered this recent Welsh Government guidance on face coverings carefully. The most significant reason for requiring a face covering in school is during any interaction with children from a different ‘contact group’ (a class in Y7,8 and 9; a year group in Year 10,11,12 and 13). We have undertaken many measures to minimise this interaction including ‘zoning’ children in the school building and enhanced arrangements at break and lunch time. Therefore, in line with Local Authority policy, we will not be mandating face coverings but will fully support any child that chooses to wear a face covering in communal areas; examples of this may be their use in corridors or when queuing for lunch. This policy also includes staff members as they move between lessons or through any other communal areas.
Any changes to Welsh Government guidance or local context will be reflected accordingly in the school’s risk assessment and associated policies.