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Head Teacher Update – 1 March

Published on 1st March 2021



Dear Parents/Carers

As staff we are all looking forward to seeing your children once again in school. You will receive a number of communications this week in preparation for March 8th. We know that transmission rates remain high and that the return to school is likely to increase infection rates. The messages from the government this weekend emphasised how imperative it still is that we all follow the rules.

How do we keep our students, staff, parents and our community as safe as possible?

It is clear that there is no one single approach that works. Vaccination, social distancing, hand hygiene, school cleanliness and masks all have a role to play. Over the last year the most contentious of all these mitigating factors are face masks. The evidence of the benefit of face masks is clear and I would like to share two articles with you. The World Health Organisation initially resisted mask wearing because they were concerned about supply for medical staff. The World Health Organisation now supports the use of masks.

Covid 19 enjoys airborne transmission. We breathe out particles of different sizes. Some of these particles are caught in masks. It is on that basis that they are strongly advised to be worn in school.

Nature Article https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02801-8

The article in the ‘nature’ publication covers many points. An example is given of hairdressers who wore masks whilst working who developed Covid as did their family. However, their clients did not. The article gives other examples as well.

The Lancet https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext

The Lancet is an esteemed journal through which the medical profession communicates on an international basis. It analyses 172 studies across 16 countries and 6 continents. It considers physical distancing, masks and eye protection. It is rigorous and gives detailed statistical analysis and is backed up by 87 references. The overall conclusion is that the wearing of face masks was associated with a large reduction in the risk of infection.

What can I do if I am concerned for my child’s well-being and wearing masks?

I empathise with that position. I do not like wearing a mask. Please could you let your child’s Head of Year know if you would like someone to talk with them re. masks? I want to minimise the number of children that have to be sent home and self-isolate. We would all agree that that being sent home is not good for wellbeing.

We are already aware of those students who, for medical reasons are unable to wear a mask; these students were issued with a white badge to wear so that staff and their peers knew that they were exempt. We presume that this has not changed but if you would like to communicate any issues, please email your child’s Head of Year.

Hopefully on April 12th hairdressers and community centres etc can reopen. The biggest threat to that not happening is either people not following the rules or transmission via schools. This is why the decision was taken not to reopen over Easter to provide a circuit break and measure school Covid transmission. Masks will help to lower transmission and reduce the risk.

I would also like to thank the very large number of you who have completed the parental survey; your feedback is much appreciated.

Kind regards

Mr Paul Burke
Head Teacher

Head Teacher – Mr P Burke
The Fernwood School, Goodwood Road, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2FT
0115 9286 326 | admin@fernwoodschool.org.uk
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