Update on Face Coverings
In the last few days we have had a number of confirmed positive cases in the same year 7 class that were all identified initially by asymptomatic LFD rapid testing. As soon as we were made aware, we asked the whole class to self-isolate preventing onward transmission outside of the class bubble. Today we have had a student in year 8 who has tested positive on a LFD test which appears to be unrelated and we have again asked the whole class to self-isolate whilst we await the results of a confirmatory PCR test.
In view of the recent confirmed cases of Covid-19 at TCA and the increase in community transmission rates, Cambridgeshire Public Health have advised us to reinforce the message to all staff, students and parents to complete twice weekly testing. Public Health are very happy with the infection control measures we already have in place, however due to the increased transmissibility of the current Delta variant, they have also asked us to also reintroduce face coverings for students in school.
Based on advice from Cambridgeshire Public Health, we will be re-introducing the mandatory use of face coverings for students based on the guidance we had in place before the Easter holidays as follows:
Face coverings - Students
From Monday, it will be mandatory for every student to be wearing a face covering on arrival at school and to wear a face covering in ALL inside areas except classrooms unless they have a specific medical exemption. Sanctions will be applied in line with our Behaviour Policy if students fail to do so, as was the case during the Spring Term.
Students and staff will also be encouraged to wear a face covering in the classroom where 2-metre social distancing is not possible. This is an additional control measure to mitigate infection and protect others. The wearing of face coverings in classrooms is highly recommended but not mandatory, and therefore sanctions will not be applied if students choose not to wear a face covering in classrooms. Teachers have a two-metre zone marked around them classrooms, so do not need to wear a face covering in class unless they choose to do so, or will be moving around the class. A face covering is not required to be worn by students when outside in their bubble for active lunch or during PE.
Students must wear a face covering when moving around the corridors of their own bubble community and when leaving their bubble areas and entering communal spaces, unless they have a specific medical exemption. For example, lesson transition to specialist classrooms, going to the restaurant to collect lunch or to use the toilet facilities etc. Again, sanctions will be applied in line with our Behaviour Policy if students fail to do so, as was the case during the Spring Term.
Face Coverings for Staff
All staff must continue to wear a face mask when on duty and must also wear a mask when moving from classroom to classroom or where the 2-metre rule may be broken. All staff working closely with students in a lesson must also wear a face mask.
Please note that the guidance for students to wear face coverings recommences immediately, however we will not apply sanctions for not wearing a mask until Monday. Over the next couple of days we will gently encourage students to start wearing their masks again and explain the benefits of doing so and it would be really helpful if you could also do the same. However, from Monday sanctions will be applied in line with our Behaviour Policy if students do not arrive to school wearing a face covering.
Also, can I please remind you that, under our current guidance, parents/carers are not allowed on site unless by appointment and this guidance has not changed. All meetings where possible should be either online or via telephone and should only be face to face in exceptional circumstances. Please therefore do not come to reception unless you have an appointment or have been asked to do so by a member of staff.