Secondary pupils to keep wearing masks after Easter

Education secretary Gavin Williamson had promised to review the wearing of masks.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson had promised to review the wearing of masks. - Credit: PA

Secondary school and college students will need to continue wearing face masks in class when they return after Easter.

The Department for Education (DfE) confirmed on Tuesday that it would not immediately move to lift the rules requiring face coverings to be worn in classrooms and communal areas of colleges and secondary schools.

It expects face coverings to no longer be required when further easing of social contact limits indoors are confirmed, which will be no earlier than May 17.

The move came after five education union leaders called on ministers not to "rush into" changes without careful consideration of the scientific evidence.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL headteacher union

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL headteacher union, said masks can disrupt learning and should not be used any longer than is "absolutely necessary". - Credit: Archant

Former local head Geoff Barton, who is now general secretary of the ASCL headteacher union, said: "The health advice on the wearing of face coverings by secondary school pupils in classrooms is clear and we therefore support the new guidance.

"However, the use of face coverings is clearly not ideal in a classroom setting as it has the capacity to disrupt education and it is not something we want to see going on any longer than is absolutely necessary."
 


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