Wearing of face coverings at school (secondary) – Message on behalf of Jeremy Miles AM – Wales Government Minister for Education and Welsh Language  -  November 30th 2021

We wrote to you earlier this term to inform you that the Regional COVID-19 Incident Management Team, which is chaired by Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board now recommends that all pupils should wear a face covering when inside any building in school, including classrooms.

We received further communication from the Welsh Government on the use of face coverings in school this morning:

“The emergence of this new Covid 19 variant is a serious development requiring decisions to be made quickly. We are now introducing an additional measure, while we learn more about this new strain. All staff and learners in our secondary schools and colleges should now wear face coverings while indoors including in classrooms where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

This is a temporary, precautionary measure that will be in place for the remaining weeks of term at which point the position will be reviewed. This should come into effect as soon as possible. There will be some learners and staff who are exempt from wearing face-coverings and we do not expect this to change that position as the well-being of individuals is critical to any considerations around whether staff or learners should wear face coverings.

Throughout the pandemic the Welsh Government’s priority has been to maximise learning and to minimise disruption for our young people. With three weeks left of term, I’m sure you will agree with me that it is vital that we ensure that learning can continue for as many learners as possible”

As you will be aware, the use of face coverings in secondary schools in Bridgend is an existing COVID-19 control but this more enhanced use of face coverings should now include classroom/learning spaces as well as communal areas such the queues in canteens.

We would encourage face coverings to be washable and reusable rather than disposable in nature. Please ensure that your child is equipped with a face covering and also a spare. This will help to address environmental sustainability and reduce potential littering problems.

Should there be a specific medical reason as to why your child cannot wear a face covering, we would be grateful if you could contact the school to enable us to discuss the situation.

Thank you for your help in doing all we can – together - to keep ourselves and others safe.