Dear Parents and Carers

You will hopefully have heard the encouraging news that from Monday 17th May there are changes in some of the current restrictions in place in secondary schools to reduce the transmission of the virus. I thought you would find it helpful for me to clarify what the changes are but also what remains in place.
Will pupils no longer need to wear facemasks at all in school?
Not for now. This is the big change. Pupils will not need to wear them either in classrooms or in communal areas including corridors unless there is a local outbreak, in which case they could be reintroduced if Public Health advised that we should.
Do pupils still need to wear facemasks on buses and trains?
Yes. The facemask change only applies to pupils when in school.
Can pupils still chose to wear a mask in school?
Yes. The choice to do so remains if a pupil does not yet feel confident to take if off in the building.
Will the same break and lunchtime arrangements remain in place for now?
Yes. They are working well and this approach to ” Year bubbles” is still part of our risk assessment designed to reduce transmission and the numbers needing to isolate if there was a positive case.
Does the hands face space guidance still apply?
Yes. The sanitising on entry to classrooms and cleaning of desks are still crucial as well. Regular sanitising of hands from the dispensers around college as well is still advised.
Will staff be removing facemasks as well as pupils?
No. The advice remains that the school staff should wear masks on corridors and in communal areas and in classrooms where they are not able to remain more than 2m from pupils.
Do pupils need to still continue LFT testing twice a week?
Yes. We know the virus has still not gone away. We have had one positive LFT test result this week which has meant that we have to advise close contacts in their year group to isolate at least until the pupil receives the confirmatory PCR test result.
Have we reached Summer Uniform expectations time yet?
 Yes. As you may be aware, around this time every year, related to the seasonal increase in temperature (we hope!), we say that pupils no longer need to wear their school jumpers if they do not want to continue to do so. They do need to still wear their blazers on corridors and ties (in the case of boys) at all times.
They can take off their blazers in classrooms.
Have our children responded to our support for you in the safeguarding measures around coats and mobile phones?
Yes. Thank you for your support for pupils not wearing coats, hoodies etc in the building and for switching mobile phones off in college. There have been far fewer incidences of this over the last week and fewer parents inconvenienced in coming to collect mobile phones.
How we can we support you in ensuring our children are focused on being ready for learning?
I know that I can rely on you to give the same support to your child not bringing and wearing jewellery to school. Piercings are an aspect of this and must be removed. This is why we advise getting any new ones done at the start of the summer holidays. As you know, we do not accept the explanation that it cannot be removed because it has only just been done.
We still have occasional incidences of pupils wearing noticeable makeup, including false eyelashes, or having had false nails glued on. As you would expect, all of these things must be removed. Nail varnish is also still not allowed and we insist it is removed.
Every day the priority, in being ready for learning, is for your child to check their timetable in their planner, then pack their SMCC bag with their planner, exercise books and pencil case, including their SMCC PE kit on the days they have it.
Your support for key aspects of our partnership is much appreciated and we have the evidence that it works. The most successful pupils in public examinations are those who have met our uniform expectations and have come fully equipped and been in on time everyday.
Thank you for all you continue to do to support us in creating the learning climate in which our pupils are thriving.
Yours faithfully
Mr A Boyle