English Children Returning to Schools With Mandatory Masks Today
Starting on Tuesday, English schoolchildren will once again be required to wear masks in schools to, it is claimed, slow the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
The British government have re-introduced recommendations for mask requirements for secondary school pupils in England. Masks will be required for all pupils regardless of their vaccination status as of the 4th of January, the first day of the new term.
Masks for able-bodied pupils will now need to be worn in most school settings, such as when students are seated in the classroom.
The government has carved out two exemptions for the advice, including “situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons” or for when the children are “outdoors”.
Primary school children (those aged between 4-11) have been exempted from this mask requirement, with the government claiming that mask-wearing for under 11’s goes against “health advice”.
The new mask mandate will remain in place until at least the 26th of January when the guidance will be reviewed.
The government has also asked all state schools (public schools) to carry out COVID tests before schools resume on the 4th of January, however, testing will not be mandatory for students.
Since the 17th of May, there have been no mask recommendations in place for school children in England, with the decision being left up to individual schools to make their own rules. Prior to this announcement, England was the only nation in the UK which did not have mask requirements for schoolchildren.
UK School Asks Pupils to Wear ‘Yellow Badge’ to Show They Are Mask-Exempt https://t.co/gWB4mmypeU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 25, 2021
The mask mandate has come into place following concerns that schools were not going to reopen for the start of the new term in January, with Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi initially refusing to rule out ‘fire-break’ school closures in early December.
The government, therefore, justified the mask requirement by saying that it was necessary to ensure the reopening of schools after the Christmas holidays.
The government has exempted teachers from mask-wearing under the new rules, saying “we would not ordinarily expect teachers to wear a face-covering in the classroom if they are at the front of the class”.
The National Education Union (NEU) has criticised the government over their educator mask policy. In December, the teacher’s union released a statement accusing the Department of Education of failing “to fully understand the risks to staff” working in schools, and that staff should be supplied personal protection equipment by schools.
According to statistics released by the government, coronavirus-related pupil absence in all state-funded schools stood at 2.9 per cent as of the 9th of December.
Children Without Masks Will Be Segregated, Use Separate Entrances: Report https://t.co/dP38sde5x4
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 4, 2021