Given that the local rates of Covid-19 infection in Newcastle are higher than the national average and we have started to see a small number of cases in school we have taken the decision to maintain face coverings in corridors, communal areas and when staff enter Admin offices. Students and staff are welcome to remove them once they are in the classroom but this will be at the discretion of the individual. We feel this move maintains protection for our staff and students when footfall is high but allows a more comfortable environment within the classroom similar to the Autumn term. Our decision is in line with Public Health Newcastle advice as detailed below:
The government have announced that from Monday 17 May face coverings will no longer be recommended for pupils in classrooms or communal areas in all schools. Face coverings will also no longer be recommended for staff in classrooms. However in all schools we continue to recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas).
Children and young people aged 11 and over must still wear a face covering on public transport. In accordance with advice from PHE, they must also wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated transport to secondary school or college.
The local Public Health position is that we concur with guidance. However if students or staff wish to take an added precautionary approach and continue to wear a face covering, this should be at individual discretion.
Many thanks for your support.