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The Department's position on face coverings in schools

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a table and chairs in a classroom

Our guidance is clear that we do not expect children to wear face coverings at school. This position is based on the best scientific advice. Public Health England does not currently recommend the use of face coverings in schools as pupils and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. There may also be negative effects on communication and thus education.

Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in shops. This does not apply in schools, where a robust system of controls will be in place to substantially reduce the risk of transmission. We will keep all measures, including the use of face coverings, under review.

We trust school leaders to implement the system of controls in a way that works for their school and we will continue to work closely with the sector throughout the summer to help them prepare for full reopening.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

“We have set out the controls schools should use, including cleaning and hygiene measures, to substantially reduce the risk of transmission of the virus when they open to all children from September. This does not include the wearing of face coverings as we believe the system of controls laid out adequately reduced the risk of transmission to both staff and students.”

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