Ormiston Meridian Academy

Face Mask Letters

Dear parent/carer,

Firstly, on behalf of all my colleagues at Ormiston Meridian Academy, we are thrilled to have our students back in school. Whilst it has been a very different start to an academic year in some respects, the students and staff have coped admirably with the changes and I have never been so proud of all of them. I would like to offer a huge thank you to our parents/carers and family members for all your incredible support you have shown and the feedback you have given us that always helps us to inform our decision making. High quality teaching and learning remains our absolute priority alongside the protective measures we have put into place to keep everyone safe and well.

I wrote to you on 27th August regarding information about the wearing of face masks within the academy building. The information presented by the Department for Education at that time was that in areas of the country where the transmission of the virus is high and local lockdowns have been implemented, that face masks should be worn by all students and staff when moving around the academy building.

Whilst we have not received any updated guidance from the Department for Education, the information given by the Prime Minster in his address to the Nation on Tuesday suggests that further measures in schools may be implemented soon. I am therefore, making masks compulsory for all students (except a very small number of students that are exempt from wearing a face mask) when moving around the inside of the academy building, specifically in corridors and when queueing for the canteen. This will start from Monday 28th September until further notice. Face masks are not required when outside, when eating or when inside the classroom.

If your child is exempt from wearing a face mask we will provide them with an exemption card which they can show to members of staff. We will use our medical records to identify those students that we think should be exempt, but if you wish to raise any concerns about this with us then please do not hesitate to email us regarding this at info@omera.co.uk.

Face masks must be plain with no motifs, patterns or logos. If we feel that the mask your child is wearing is not suitable, we will provide them with a mask that they will be expected to wear and you will be contacted.

It is very important that when wearing a face mask at school your child understands the correct way to wear, handle and store them, as if they are handled incorrectly it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. For information on wearing, handling and washing reusable face masks, additional information is included at the end of this letter and I would also encourage you to read the following Government guidance: https://bit.ly/3guiK61. We will be discussing this with all students tomorrow in form time and will continue to remind students regularly of how to wear, handle and store their face masks.

The safety and wellbeing of our students, and staff, continues to be our absolute priority and we have worked tirelessly over the last few months to have all safety measures in place so that we can continue to provide your child with an excellent education.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs C Stanyer

Principal

Those students who are exempt from wearing a face mask

  • Students who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress

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 where possible taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession

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

Ormiston Meridian Academy is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.