At the Academy, your health and wellbeing are paramount. Our priority at all times is to ensure that our site is as safe as possible for everybody using it. We are following Government regulations and working with representatives from within our community and beyond to make sure the Academy remains a safe space.
We have implemented a programme of safety measures as our staff, students, tutors and models return to the Academy, which will be subject to constant review and no doubt grow and evolve as guidance changes. It includes all UK-standard social distancing measures, increased frequency of onsite cleaning, signage and guidance, and the provision of handwashing and hand sanitising facilities (there are automatic dispensers outside every studio and you will be required to use these before entering). You will also be required to wipe down all equipment at the end of the day (tools, easels, tables etc).
Days will be shorter than before (by an hour to 10am to 4pm, typically) to help everyone avoid rush hour on public transport and breaks and start and finish times will be staggered to help limit the number of people in communal areas at any one time.
If you’re working in areas such as print and the workshop, you may need to purchase some PPE and tools for personal use, as we won’t be able to provide some items for shared use.
In addition to these measures we now require everyone to wear a face covering while on the premises, including during classes, unless exempt for medical reasons. During classes models will also be exempt.
Currently, we do not require individuals to wear any additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) beyond what would usually be required for a class. PPE, such as visors, may be appropriate for a small number of individuals and as such will be provided by the Academy. If you would like more information, or to request PPE, please contact Rebecca.
In addition to other mitigating actions (ventilation, reduced group sizes, social distancing, personal hygiene, increased cleaning), face coverings act as a source of control and provide some protection to the wearer. There is good evidence for their effectiveness in preventing droplets from being released by an infected person and some evidence that they can reduce the exposure of someone else to those droplets. They may also limit aerosol transmission by capturing droplets at the source and stop them evaporating into smaller aerosols than remain suspended in the air. Their use will therefore have the greatest benefit in scenarios where individuals have to come into close proximity, or are using the same shared space.
There is also new evidence that loud speech can generate more aerosols and so could enhance the risk of transmission. This poses a challenge for the majority of teaching situations, especially during demonstrations and presentations. We recognise that the wearing of a face covering in these circumstances may interfere with teaching and, therefore, a tutor may, when necessary, temporarily remove their face covering (but they must be worn by all other participants).
Visit our Keeping the Academy Safe page to find out more.