I am pleased to report that since our return to the academy after the Easter break, we have had no confirmed positive case of COVID-19 amongst our staff or students. In part this reflects the decrease in numbers within the local community but also highlights the success of the COVID-19 secure measures at The Leigh Academy.
On Monday 10th May, you would have heard the Prime Minister speaking about face masks/coverings in secondary schools. Since Monday I have read the latest DfE guidance, read the latest Scientific Advisory Group of Emergencies (SAGE) guidance, consulted with staff, unions and the Leigh Academies Trust.
The DfE guidance states ‘We continue to recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible – for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas.’
The SAGE published their report on Friday 7th May, stating the figures ‘highlight the importance of maintaining current mitigation measures in schools, such as testing and mask wearing, in the coming months.’
The outcome that I have reached is that we will proceed in a precautionary way, rather than throw aside caution and masks!
Therefore, from Monday 17th May, students and staff at The Leigh Academy will no longer be required to wear face coverings/masks in classrooms. Students and staff will however be required to wear face coverings/masks when transitioning around inside the building and inside communal areas, e.g. restaurant servery and the Lecture Theatre. I believe this measured approach is the best strategy to keep all of our community as safe as possible, particularly when considering that many of our staff are yet to receive vaccinations.
This will provide students and staff with the continued protection as they pass on the stairways and corridors from other year groups/bubbles, and when in larger indoor communal areas. This will be reviewed at half-term, and before we return in June for Module 6. If students or staff also wish to continue wearing face coverings/masks in classrooms, then they will be welcome to do so.
I am asking for your support to convey this message to your children, for it is by joining collaboratively in this approach and continuing to follow all The Leigh Academy COVID-19 safety measures, that we will all be safer and feel more secure and confident whilst in the academy. We also ask you to support your child to carry out Lateral Flow Testing at home twice weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) for the remainder of this academic year.