Face Masks No Longer Compulsory in Class

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced an immediate end to wearing masks in secondary school classrooms across England. The rule takes effect from January 20th.
Face Masks No Longer Compulsory in Class
By Carli Allan
Do your children attend a UK school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.
LET'S GO

Students at secondary schools in England are no longer required to wear face masks in the classroom. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that all Plan B Covid-19 restrictions will end in England from next Thursday – and face masks will not be legally required in schools from tomorrow (January 20).

The Plan B Covid rules, which had been launched to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant, are no longer required across England, Mr Johnson told the House of Commons today (January 19).  This brings to an end the need to work from home and the use of Covid-19 passports for large venues.

For students at secondary schools in England, face masks do not need to be worn in the classroom. Rules on wearing masks in communal school areas will be dropped at a later date.

Mr Johnson said:

"Today's latest ONS data shows infection levels are falling in England and while there are some places where cases are likely to continue rising, including in primary schools, our scientists believe it is likely that the Omicron wave has peaked nationally.

"Having looked at the data carefully, the Cabinet concluded that once regulations lapse the Government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere.

"From tomorrow, we will no longer require face masks in classrooms and the Department for Education will shortly remove national guidance on their use in communal areas.

"In the country at large we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don't normally meet - but we will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one."

Teaching unions have voiced concern about the announcement for schools. Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said,

"Schools and colleges are still feeling the impact of Covid-19. The latest ONS infection survey update shows 1 in 10 primary age pupils have Covid-19. While the trend amongst secondary aged children is down it is however uncertain, due to the short time schools have been back since the Christmas holidays, that this trend will continue.

"Such uncertainty could lead to a pronounced risk of increased disruption with children and staff having to isolate."

Comments
Latest UK articles
Interviews

Interview: From Nursery Teacher to Author

For Ebtisam Al Beiti, a Dubai-based former nursery teacher, lock down was a transformat…

Choosing A School

5 of the Best UK Schools for Horse Lovers

We take a closer look at the UK day and boarding schools with their own equestrian facili…

Courses & Curricula

New! Online International Baccalaureate Diploma

A new fully online International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme will launch in September…

Courses & Curricula

UK Boarding Schools: Summer Schools 2022

A summer school programme at a UK boarding school is a great opportunity to get a taste o…

Best School

World's Best IB Schools - by IB DP Score

This is a list that you will not see officially produced by the IB, which does not believ…

Courses & Curricula

SAT Tests Move Online from 2023

The US-based College Board has announced that SAT tests, taken by students in American cu…

New Schools

NLCS to Open Bilingual School in Vietnam

The British day school for girls, North London Collegiate School, has announced plans to …

Which Curriculum

Esports in Education: More Than Just a Game?

While gaming might not sound like something that children should be doing at school, stud…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All