MHS Covid update 26-1-2022
MHS Covid update 26-1-2022
Managing the covid situation in school has often meant managing the transition from one set of rules to another. Sometimes the rules stayed the same for a while and became ‘normal’, and sometimes the rules changed very rapidly.
Having brought back some old rules at the start of term to combat the potential wave of Omicron cases, the nation is of course now relaxing some of those rules again. As you know we followed government expectations and removed the need for students to wear masks in classrooms last week.
We are now in a position to make some further changes, although as you will see below one important aspect is staying in place for a short while longer.
Covid cases in school were low for the first half of this half term but the past week has seen a clear and consistent increase, and the number of staff having to isolate or needing time off for covid related reasons is also steadily rising. Therefore a sensible easing of restrictions is required. As always my priority is to keep the school running as normally as we can whilst keeping as many students in school every day, and keeping staff fit and able to work.
1) Face coverings
The Department for Education is removing the recommendation that face coverings are worn in corridors and communal areas from tomorrow morning (Thursday 27th January). However, as a school we have decided to make no further changes to our mask wearing policy until the half term break.
This means that we are still asking students and staff to wear masks in corridors and canteens unless they are exempt. I am fully aware that many schools will not be asking this, but plenty are and I believe it is a sensible, relatively simple and non-disruptive request. We have decided to keep this rule in place to enable us to make the other changes below. Parents are able to exempt their children from the need to wear masks by emailing the Head of Year or pastoral manager.
2) Movement around Bradshaw building
As of Monday 31st January there will no longer be a one way system in Bradshaw building. The staircases will continue to be one-way (one ‘up’ staircase, one ‘down’ staircase) but the corridors are two way. Any door can be used to access the building.
3) Extra-curricular will return
We paused this in January but the full list of extra-curricular activities can resume from Monday 31st January, including sporting fixtures.
4) Ventilation in classroom remains key
Windows and doors will stay open for the time being as the best way to combat the virus. However, fewer windows will be opened and so we will gradually tighten up expectations that students will not need to wear coats etc in class. They will be allowed to when it is cold…but not when it isn’t.
5) When to isolate
A reminder that anyone with the standard covid symptoms should book a PCR test and isolate until the result comes back, and anyone without symptoms who has a positive lateral flow test should isolate for at least 5 days, dependent on negative LFTs on two consecutive days from day 5 onwards.
I anticipate further changes will follow in the near future. For now, if you wish your son or daughter to have a second (or first) covid vaccination then please remember to complete the vaccination consent form on Edulink. Details were sent out last week and the process is explained here.