Please see the letter below received on Friday 16 October. Please can anyone with legal qualifications clarify for me if the school has a leg to stand on with these threats?! The whole letter is so mis-informed it's almost laughable.
Dear Parents and Carers Covid – 19 Chalfont St Peter Infant School Governors 16th October 2020 Please can I ask that you read this letter, whatever your views of Covid-19. As governors, we have a duty to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff, our pupils and our families. Covid-19 is getting close to our School. As of yesterday, there were 18 confirmed cases in Chalfont St Peter. Our staff do not have a choice about coming to School every day to teach our children. Regardless of their own fears, they do so willingly and do their absolute best to make our children feel safe and secure. We have a number of clinically vulnerable members of staff. We also have staff with vulnerable family members at home. We are a small school; if a member of staff catches Covid, not only could it have a devastating impact on them and their families, it is likely that a bubble will have to close. Are you absolutely sure that the person next to you in the queue does not have Covid? Two of our parents have tested positive – one with no symptoms and one with only a mild fever. Do you know what the family circumstances of the person standing next to you in the queue are – are they clinically vulnerable, extremely clinically vulnerable, are they supporting people who rely on them? Do you know for absolute certain that you don’t have Covid? Parents have been asked to wear face coverings when dropping off and picking up. Whilst we understand that a small number of parents may be exempt, a number of parents are choosing not to do so. Wearing a face covering, however inconvenient for you for that short space of time you are on School property, demonstrates basic respect and care for our staff and other parents. It makes our staff feel safer – whether they are or not in reality and whatever your personal views. It makes them feel safer and shows them that you care about them. We did not ask for Covid, we are simply doing our very best to look after your children, keep everyone safe and keep the school open. Please wear a face covering at School. Whilst face coverings outside are not currently a legal requirement, we will do everything we can to protect our staff and families. We will look at all options, including asking those unable to wear face coverings not to enter School premises. We will keep it under review and hope that this will not become necessary. With very best wishes on behalf of the Governors of Chalfont St Peter Infant School
Here you go - a big bundle of ammunition:
........and the original page that seems to have vanished is here:
Oh thank you Bryan, super helpful, will look at the link. Yes it's a terribly worded letter - they accept exemptions, then go on to say 'those unable' to wear face coverings... well I thought they just accepted exemptions!? They are assuming those who 'choose' not to wear them are not exempt. It's none of their business why one doesn't wear a face covering! It is a guilt trip and emotional blackmail. The last paragraph really makes my blood boil.
Update - I now can't find the page I wanted to send - it should be somewhere on the www.disability-equality.org.uk - maybe it has been removed - basically a list of your rights as a non mask wearer. I'll try looking elsewhere and post when I find it. From what I do know they are on the verge of breaching Section 13 (1) of the Equality Act 2010 and maybe they should be informed of that.
Hi, I don't have official legal qualifications, however this letter is, - as you point out - almost ( definitely in my book) laughable. The fact that they state 'Whilst face coverings outside are not currently a legal requirement....' means exactly that and as such you do need to comply with wearing a mask for pick-up and drop-off. Also the line 'We will look at all options, including asking those unable to wear face coverings not to enter School premises' has no standing whatsoever. You have it in writing that they will ask 'those unable to wear face coverings not to enter the School premises' and again, it means exactly that - yes, they can ask, but that is all. The bulk of their letter is just an attempt ( and a very bad one in my opinion ) to coerce parents to feel guilty and appears to have been written by a 'top snowflake'. I don't think they have a leg to stand - the ammunition you need is in their letter - also they admit that some people are exempt, although they are making out that some parents are not and are not wearing coverings - how the hell do they know? It's utter piffle - I have some further info which I'll have to find and will paste it here later. Hope that helps.