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News

Removing face coverings in classrooms

Published: 28 Feb 2022 00:01

Call to remain vigilant.

Removing face coverings in classrooms is a ‘positive milestone’ for high school pupils and staff, but continued vigilance is essential to beat COVID-19, Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville has said.

Following the First Minster’s announcement earlier this month, updated guidance for schools comes into force today.

The guidance is clear that teachers and pupils who wish to continue to wear a face covering in the classroom will be fully supported in doing so.

Specific mitigations relating to assemblies and transition visits for learners who will start primary or secondary in August 2022, will also be eased from today.

Ms Somerville said:

“The last two years have been really tough for our children and young people. Teachers and support staff have also had to operate in a challenging environment, but all have worked incredibly hard to deliver a quality learning experience for pupils.

“The removal of the requirement to wear face coverings in classrooms is a positive milestone - it signals the possibility of a brighter future where schools can regain some normality. And of course, pupils and staff who continue to choose to wear face coverings in class will be supported in doing so.

“We must not to forget that COVID-19 has not gone away - we all still need to be on our guard and exercise caution. Pupils and staff must still wear face coverings in communal areas and distancing rules still apply.

“The last thing I want it to have measures in place for a minute longer than is necessary, but as we have done throughout this pandemic, we will continue to be guided by scientific and expert advice.”

Background

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools.