Uniform and face coverings letter - 18/09/2020
I am writing this email to you to provide some detail on the school’s position regarding the wearing of face coverings, our behaviour expectations and a note on the dropping-off and collection of pupils at the school gates.
We have, (along with all of the schools in our Trust) asked all staff and pupils to have face coverings with them every day at school. They have become in effect a part of our compulsory school uniform, and nearly all members of the school community are now wearing them.
The wearing of face coverings is an important part of our attempt to keep the school community safe.
We insist that all pupils:
● Wear face coverings as they enter the school via their gate and make their way to their Year Group outdoor area
● Wear them in all corridors
● Wear them when passing through indoor public areas such as the canteen
● Wear them in the toilets
● Wear them outside IF they are within 1m of other pupils
● Wear them outside if chatting face-to-face with friends
● Store them (without handling the outer face) inside a plastic bag
We are NOT currently requiring pupils to wear them in lessons.
We will begin to apply sanctions to pupils who do not bring a face covering to school each day, or who decide to not wear them in accordance with our school rules. Of course, exemptions for medical reasons are supported.
Finally, following some recent discussions with one of our governors we wish to advise on the type of face covering worn. To put it simply, not all types of face coverings are equally effective.
The best face coverings fit well, covering the mouth and nose.
The best face coverings are typically two or three layers thick.
‘Buffs’ and ‘bandanas’ pulled up over the mouth and nose are quite ineffective in reducing transmission, and we will ask pupils wearing such items as face coverings to replace them with an alternative.
(More information on the wearing and effectiveness of face coverings is provided with this letter)
We continue to expect all pupils to wear the correct school uniform, and we are pleased that nearly every pupil is correctly dressed each day. I highlight below however, some recent issues that we have noted, and ask you to remind your child that the school discipline system will be used to sanction pupils who do not follow our uniform rules.
Examples of uniform problems that break our school guidelines and will lead to sanctions such as after-school school detention include:
● Not having a blazer on during the school day
● Not having shirts fully tucked in at all times
● Not wearing a tie
● Wearing jeans or leggings rather than school trousers
● Wearing short skirts or ‘fashion skirts’ rather than the standard school uniform pleated skirt
● Dyed hair
● Wearing fake nails
● Excessive make-up such as false eyelashes.
Where a pupil repeatedly fails to follow the uniform rules (for example by repeatedly wearing a hoodie, or walking around the school wearing a cap etc) then the item will be confiscated. In order to have the item returned we ask that parents/carers contact the pupil’s Head of Year to make an appointment to collect the item from the school’s reception. I stress that a pre-arranged booking is essential.
If a pupil has lost an item of uniform or is awaiting the delivery of a replacement item then we expect a written note from parents/carers and a firm date by which the item will be obtained. (We always follow this up by contacting the distributors and obtaining from them a list of current orders.)
To assist those who have a temporary problem with their uniform, we have ordered some general school trousers, skirts and blazers for each year group. Should any pupil arrive at school in incorrect uniform then we fully expect them to wear one of the school’s garments in order that they fully blend into the school community.
Drop-offs, pick-ups and parking
Finally, we ask for your continued support in helping keep the school gates clear.
Now that the children have settled in, we would respectfully ask that parents and carers avoid congregating at the school gates. Please:
Drop off and/or pick-up your child in a nearby street- well away from the school gate (100 m from the school)
If possible, if you walk or cycle your child to and/or from school then again, please plan your journey such that only pupils are within 50m of the school gates.
Remind them of the very important need to look both ways before they cross a road, and to only walk along the pavement.
Sewell Park Academy
How to wear a face covering
A face covering should:
● cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
● fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
● be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
● be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
● ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
● unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged
When wearing a face covering you should:
● wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
● avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
● avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
● change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
● avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)
When removing a face covering:
● wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
● only handle the straps, ties or clips
● do not give it to someone else to use
● if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
● if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
● wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed