May Update

In line with the government roadmap for easing Coronavirus restrictions the guidance in relation to schools has been updated and the following amendments have been made;
• Face coverings will no longer be recommended for students in classrooms or communal areas in schools.
• Face coverings will also no longer be recommended for staff in classrooms.
• Face coverings should continue to 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) unless exempt under Government guidelines.
• Students may continue to wear a face mask in the corridors if they wish to do so.
• All other measures that are part of our system of control such as separate entrances and exits, working in bubbles, separate lunchtimes etc. will continue to be in place until the end of the academic year unless the guidance changes further.

It has also been confirmed that twice weekly at home testing for staff and students is to continue. These test kits will be issued by the Academy to those that have given consent. I would like to thank all our students for their maturity and the concern they have shown for others by complying with the safety measures we have had in place in response to the pandemic, most notably testing, social distancing and the wearing of face coverings. I know that wearing a face covering for any lengthy period of time is uncomfortable and can also be a barrier to effective
communication. I am therefore, pleased that the government has concluded that there is no longer a requirement for face coverings to be worn in classrooms from Monday, 17 May 2021. As mentioned above, students may continue to wear a face mask in the corridors if they wish to do so. However, I would like to let you know that from the latest official statistics (from 1st May to 7th May), there were only 5 confirmed infections in the whole of Smethwick, and therefore infections in the area are incredibly low at present.

I would again like to thank all families for their support during this unusual period and reassure you that we continue to monitor the situation closely and will update you as soon as any guidance
changes.
Kind regards
Mr D Irish
Principal

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