Our Community - Our Future

MHS Update 20-9-2021: ‘Masks on the Move’

MHS Update 20-9-2021: ‘Masks on the Move’

Apologies for the additional blog today, the last thing I want to do is bombard you with messages and especially ones about Covid – but in this situation needs must.

Today we’ll be sending out a letter by email/text explaining that once again we are asking all adults and students to wear face coverings when moving around inside our buildings. This will start as of tomorrow, Wednesday 22nd September, and by Monday at the latest we’ll be expecting students to be fully kitted out with masks. Students who are exempt do not have to wear them and we will be reissuing exemption passes where required. As of Monday morning masks will become an expected part of the school uniform for all but the exempt.

Why are we doing this when no other school in Stockport is taking this step?

The answer is simple. We want to do everything we can to keep the quality of education as high as possible this term, and we believe that bringing masks back will help us do that.

At the moment we have a high level of Covid-19 within the student population, the rate of transmission is speeding up and more staff are also contracting the virus. Of course not all of the transmission will be in school, but the result is the same. Too many students are having to self-isolate and too many staff members cannot do their jobs properly. Therefore, if I have any kind of influence over this situation, I feel duty bound to exercise it.

What is unique about MHS?

Government data shows that the level of virus in the community in several local areas such as Marple and Hawk Green, Romiley, Marple Bridge and Mellor is very high. These areas are between two and three times higher than the rest of Stockport/Greater Manchester, which is obviously being played out in the cases we are seeing here every day. Only on one occasion last year did we have more than one case reported to us in a day…this year we’ve hit four or more cases on five separate days.

Why masks and not something else?

I’m very reluctant to do things that will directly impact on learning which is why at the moment there are no masks being worn in lessons (which greatly hampers communication and learning), no whole-school one way system (which wastes lesson time), no strict segregation of Year 7 students from Year 8 and 9 at break and lunch (which wastes loads of lesson time), and no ban on extra-curricular activities (which limits social development and enjoyment of school). However, I am keen to take effective measures that help stop transmission but don’t really impact on learning. Masks on the corridors and when queueing in the canteen is the biggest card we have left to play that fits in this category, and I believe we need to play it now.

Will this be for the whole term?

Not if I can help it! Cases are very high now but they will no doubt come down, and when we are confident there is no longer a particular issue I’ll be the first to call for the end of ‘masks on the move’.

So what now?

I know that over the last 18 months I’ve asked a lot in terms of support from families, and here I am again asking once more. Anything that you can do to support your child in wearing a mask would be greatly appreciated, and if your child is exempt then do please let us know as explained in the letter that is coming out shortly. Together we can make a difference and keep the main thing the main thing – which is keeping our school open, your children safe and most importantly keeping them learning.

Best wishes

Joe Barker


Our Community - Our Future
Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker
Tel: 0161 427 7966
Fax: 0161 426 0931
Email: info@marplehall.stockport.sch.uk
Safeguarding: safeguarding@marplehall.stockport.sch.uk