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Face coverings in secondary schools to remain in place
EB News: 07/04/2021 - 09:26
The government has confirmed that face coverings should continue to be worn in secondary school and college classrooms when students return after the Easter break, after reviewing its safety guidance.
It is expected that face coverings will no longer be required to be worn in classrooms, or by students in other communal areas, at step 3 of the roadmap, which will be no earlier than May 17th. At that point the next stage of easements, including increased social contact indoors, will be confirmed following a review of the latest data on infection and vaccination rates. It will also allow time for the vaccination programme to reach everyone in priority groups one to nine with their first dose before any change is committed.
All changes will be confirmed with one week’s notice and all other safety measures will remain in place, including regular asymptomatic testing, smaller group bubbles, increased hygiene, ventilation, and social distancing where possible.
The ongoing review of evidence on the use of face coverings in schools and colleges took into consideration a number of factors including scientific evidence and data from PHE and stakeholder intelligence gathered by the Department for Education on the experiences of face covering use in classrooms.
Those who are currently exempt from wearing face coverings will remain so, including pupils or staff who are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate.
In Ipsos MORI’s latest KnowledgePanel poll, the most preferred options for catching up on lost learning from parents are to receive increased wellbeing support (56%) and additional tutoring sessions outside of school hours (55%).