The Department for Education (DfE) revised its guidance late on Tuesday, August 25 to say secondary school pupils and staff in ‘local lockdown’ areas should wear face coverings in communal areas.
They will not need to be worn in the classroom, and the change does not apply to primary school pupils.
In other parts of England, the onus will be on headteachers to decide.
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Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the change was made in line with World Health Organization advice, which says children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults
We asked our readers for their views on face coverings in schools, prior to the Government’s U-turn announcement on Tuesday.
This is what you said on our social media pages:
Dawn Mustard: “Yes 30 older kids in one class and a teacher and possibly a TA is too many to be even a metre away from the next person and schools don’t always have room capacity to keep numbers any lower.”
Rachel Savin: “YES to protect adults in school and avoid community transmission into their homes to parents and grandparents etc.”
Deborah Crawley: “I think they should while walking around school but not during lessons.”
Paul Hurt: “It's happening in workplaces and all around community areas with crowds. Its logical to continue.”
Elizabeth Swanston: “No I don’t think they should. They’re old enough to understand to keep their distance.”
Rachael Bertram: “Yes I totally agree with masks. We lost a family member to Covid and couldnt go through that again, as much protection as possible I say.”
Sharon Moody: “If people want to wear them in schools it should be their choice.”
Michelle Marcelline: “Masks are worn if minimum 6ft social distance can’t be done. School is not exempt. Kids might get a mild version but they will transfer to others. It’s that simple.”
Cheryl Mc: “Yes I do for older children! My 12 year old daughter would feel safer wearing one!”
Lizzie Mirza: “Don’t have a problem in just communal areas like corridors, not in classrooms. Our school has already introduced this for Year 10/11.”
Sean Skinner: “Just wear your masks. It might not be that bad if YOU catch Covid but what if you pass it on to your nan or your mam?”
Shelley Darby: “Yes, rules should be across the board. Make school safer and let nervous children gain some confidence in a setting where they are supposed to seek routine and education.”
Paul K Cass: “Let the school and the children/parents agree to an acceptable procedure to follow.”
Fiona Cockburn: “Children over 11 have to wear face masks in shops so you would think that the same rules should apply in schools where they would be spending longer periods of time in close proximity to others.”
Jessica Graham: “My 9 and 11 year old would be perfectly happy wearing masks at school. Neither of them see what the problem is.”