15 May 2021
As you may have seen on the news schools and colleges in Lancashire are being recommended to continue to wear face coverings in classrooms and corridors as we have done over the last few months. As you know this was due to be relaxed on Monday. The full guidance from the Lancashire Director of Public Health follows. We have followed guidance from the local authority throughout this pandemic and therefore we will be requiring students and staff to wear face coverings inside the buildings from Monday. I appreciate that this is short notice and will be disappointing for many people, but the guidance has only just been received. I will email all students directly.
Best wishes and enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Face covering recommendation for Lancashire schools and colleges
I am writing to you to advise that your students and staff should continue to wear face coverings despite restrictions relaxing nationally next week.
As you will be aware, we are concerned locally about the spread across the region of the variant of global concern that was first detected in India. This step would be a prudent one that will help reduce outbreaks in schools and colleges, and help ensure you can stay open.
I am therefore recommending that you continue to follow the current guidance on face coverings until 21 June, the next landmark in the government's "roadmap". The guidance will be reviewed ahead of this date.
Continuing to use face coverings in schools and colleges along with maintaining hand washing, social distancing, fresh air and regular testing will help to control the spread of the variant.
My counterpart in Blackburn with Darwen is of the same view as me and will be providing the same advice to head teachers in his area.
I understand that this is a tough recommendation to make, but taking this step will help reduce outbreaks. This is vital so we can build on the good work to keep levels of infection, hospital admissions and the numbers of people becoming seriously ill low.
We want to do all we can to keep our schools and colleges open. The classroom is the best place for young people to learn. Wearing face coverings for just a few weeks longer until we control the situation is an effective way of helping us to do this.
Of course, ultimately the decision on whether or not to follow this guidance is one for you as a head teacher.
Finally, can I once again thank you for your support throughout the pandemic. Schools and colleges have been on the front line throughout the Covid crisis and your leadership, dedication and hard work has been vital to help get us through.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi
Director of Public Health and Wellbeing
Lancashire County Council
Posted by James Harris
Category: WLD Updates