Schools tell pupils to wear face coverings between classes

Teachers and pupils at James Gillespie have been told they 'must wear face coverings' between classes.

Schools tell pupils to wear face coverings between classes Pixabay

A secondary school is telling pupils to wear face coverings as part of efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus.

A memo from James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh said that from Monday, teachers and pupils “must wear face coverings indoors whilst moving around between classes”.

The school said the decision is based on feedback from pupils, parents and staff.

It comes after pictures emerged on social media showing high school pupils in crowded corridors.

On Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon said secondary school students might be required to wear face coverings in the “near future”.

Children are not currently required to wear masks in school but the First Minister said the guidance on the issue “may well” be updated.

The EIS trade union, which represents teachers, has been calling on ministers to issue “stronger advice on face coverings, where physical distancing is not possible”.

Union leaders highlight that while wearing face coverings is now mandatory in places such as museums, there is no such regulation for schools.

James Gillispie’s High School said masks, face coverings and visors will be available free of charge to anyone who has lost or forgotten their own.

Meanwhile Denny High School in Falkirk are also encouraging pupils and staff to wear masks while inside the school building and buses.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The safety and wellbeing of pupils and school staff is a top priority, and the guidance published ahead of the new term sets out clearly what health mitigations should be in place in schools.

“The situation is being closely monitored and we continue to review any emerging scientific evidence that will help us to protect our school community, including on the use of face coverings.

“In the meantime, our guidance provides for schools to adopt a precautionary approach depending on their individual circumstances.

“We continue to talk to teachers, parents, trades unions, local authorities and young people’s representatives as we take all necessary measures to ensure our schools remain safe.”

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