Crawley secondary schools have their say on the new rules surrounding pupils wearing face masks

In response to the discovery of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the government has decided that secondary school students in Year 7 and above are advised to wear face masks when in communal areas, such as corridors.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 12:37 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 11:05 am
St Wilfrid's Catholic School have their say on the new face mask guidance

Following this, we asked secondary schools in Crawley to see how they are responding to the new government guidance and if the new rules will affect their end of term Christmas plans?

Michael Ferry, Headteacher at St Wilfrid’s Catholic School said: “The government guidance is very clear; students are not being asked to wear face coverings in class but they are being advised to wear masks in communal areas eg corridors and dining areas; that said, they may wear face coverings in class should they wish to do so.

Read More

Read More
299 further coronavirus cases in Crawley

“I had already written to parents on Friday following advice received from the Director of West Sussex Public Health earlier in the week who advised schools to re-introduce the wearing of masks in communal areas.

“In my letter I informed parents that following the advice received that we would again be asking students, staff and visitors to once again, wear a face covering in corridors and in the dining areas.

“Although this is not mandatory, it has yet again been well received by students and their parents/carers alike.”

And when asked about St Wilfrid’s Catholic School Christmas plans, Mr Ferry said: “Again, following advice received last week from the LA, I made the decision to adapt or postpone some of the events we had planned for the next three weeks.

“The majority of events will now be done virtually, just as we did last year with huge success; you just have to have a look at our online Christmas Liturgy from last year to see what a huge success it was.

“Although it is disappointing to not be able to hold face to face community events, it is extremely important that we do what we can now to slow the rate of virus transmission and above all else, keep everyone safe.

“Again, although disappointing, I have had messages of support from parents/carers who completely understand. Once again, the support from students and their families has been fantastic, just as it has been throughout the pandemic so far.”

Rob Corbett, Headteacher at Ifield Community College said: “We have reintroduced masks and cancelled large indoor events such as assemblies and our Christmas assembly.

“We have removed social mixing between year groups at break and lunch from today. We see this as a sensible and proportionate response to a significant public health risk.

“Whilst we all want everything to be ‘normal’, it is not. We have many members of our school community who are still very vulnerable to infection for a range of reasons and the impact on them could be tragic.

“As a school community we have seen several deaths to parents and other loved ones that have a huge negative effect on the students and families of those who have died.

“We want to take every reasonable precaution to ensure we can all enjoy our Christmas break this year and be back in school in January.”

Rev. C Millwood, Headteacher at The Holy Trinity Church of England Secondary School said "To help keep everyone in our school community safe and to avoid the possibility of remote learning, we introduced the wearing of masks by staff and students in communal areas on 5th November.

"This was a control measure following a spike in cases at that time. At this point we are not planning to cancel any of our end of term events but are looking to hold them in the safest way possible.

"With the unpredictable nature of Covid-19 and new variants coming to light this is under constant review. I have to once again commend our students and staff for the positive and flexible way they have reacted to this, as well as the overwhelming support of the parents & carers.”

If you would like to share your views, please contact us at [email protected]