Face masks back at Suffolk high schools after half term

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5:02 PM November 1, 2021

Students across Suffolk were wearing face masks on Monday as schools returned after half term.

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Many schools earlier introduced enhanced measures, but a range of additional measures are now being introduced across Suffolk to help reduce Covid transmission.

Many schools are also preparing for the vaccination teams to visit, as the release of vaccines continues for ages 12 to 15.

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Suffolk County Council has advised that secondary and higher education students, and all staff in education settings, should wear face coverings in public areas outside the classroom, unless exempted.

All Education settings accept only primary visitors, and all visitors must wear face coverings while on site, including parents who pick up children.

Stockmarket High School Principal Dave Lee Allan
– Credit: Greg Brown

Dave Lee Allan, president of Stowmarket High School and president of the Suffolk High School Chiefs Association, said: “Staff and students are back after half term and once again demonstrating their resilience and resilience by adhering to the latest guidelines regarding masks in public areas.

“While the daily teaching and learning operations continue as usual, we have had to postpone the parents’ evening in Year 7 and have restricted other non-essential visits to our school.

“The Covid vaccination process has been postponed until mid-November.

“Recent NHS information has encouraged parents to use outpatient clinics to access Covid jabs, and while this sounds like a good idea, it makes school work more difficult to determine which students now need to be vaccinated and which don’t.

“The service is clearly under a lot of pressure, so we hope the history is preserved and that as many students with parental permission as possible will be able to get their vaccinations as quickly as possible.”

Cobblestone High School Principal Andy Green.  Photo: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL

Cobblestone High School Principal Andy Green. Photo: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL
– Credit: Archant

Andy Green, principal of Copleston High School in Ipswich, said: “The students were perfectly fine with wearing face masks. Most of them brought their own, and some did not, but we told parents we would provide masks for those who did not.

“We wear masks in lessons too. That’s the view of trust, because when you’re in the classroom you’re right next to someone else.”

Mr. Green said the school is also continuing with a number of measures that have been introduced previously, such as having different community spaces for different year groups, a one-way system and up to 200 hand sanitizer points.

The vaccination team is scheduled to visit on November 4.

“We are delighted that this has happened this week and hope it will be another positive step,” Mr. Green said.

He said the school only provides the location and information to parents on appointments, with the visiting team being responsible for the actual immunizations, and the additional parents had to decide whether their child should be stabbed.

“I fully respect a parent’s right to decide whether their son or daughter should be vaccinated.”

Besides schools, colleges have also taken measures such as wearing masks.

A spokesperson for New Suffolk College said: “The safety and well-being of our students, staff and the wider community is paramount at all times, so our four campuses have adopted new Covid measures in line with local authority guidance.

“We all have an obligation to limit the spread of the virus, so adopting these measures is something we are happy to do in order to protect the health benefits of people both on and off our campuses in Ipswich, Otley, Halsworth and Leyston.”

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