The Prime Minister has announced that students will no longer be required to wear face coverings in schools from 17th May. The Prime Minister’s statement can be read here. All other protective measures remain in place and regular (twice a week) rapid testing will continue to help find and isolate asymptomatic cases when they do occur.
The guidance on face coverings in education has been amended to reflect that from 17th May face coverings will no longer be recommended for students in classrooms or communal areas in all schools. Face coverings will also no longer be recommended for staff in classrooms. In all schools, the Government continues to recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible.
Importantly, the guidance also says: “The reintroduction of face coverings for pupils, students or staff may be advised for a temporary period in response to particular localised outbreaks, including variants of concern. In all cases, any educational drawbacks should be balanced with the benefits of managing transmission. The Local Action Committee structure (Bronze/Silver/Gold) should be used in such circumstances to re-introduce the use of face coverings. Immediate outbreak response (at the level of individual settings or a cluster of settings) remains for local Directors of Public Health to advise on.”
We will be following this guidance from Monday 17th, but are also happy for students to continue wearing their mask/face covering if they wish to do so.