Updated advice on face coverings in school

Following new advice from the World Health Organisation, we have updated our guidance on using face coverings in schools so that parents, pupils and teachers have the confidence they need to get back into the classroom.

Our priority is to get children back to school safely. At each stage, we have listened to the latest and the best medical and scientific advice available to us. 
That is why following new guidance from the World Health Organisation, we are advising that in local lockdown areas children in year 7 and above should wear face coverings in communal spaces like corridors, and outside of local lockdown areas, schools will have the power to decide whether to introduce these measures if they believe it is right in their specific circumstances. These measures will come into effect on 1 September.

Pupils will not be required to wear face coverings in the classroom - as protective measures already mean the risk is lower - and it is important the children are able to communicate effectively with their teachers, so their education is not hindered. These measures will ensure that we can safely get our children back into the classroom to learn and to be with their friends. Nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of our children than returning to school.