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Teaching unions call on Government not to lift requirement for pupils to wear masks when they return

Teaching unions call on Government not to lift requirement for pupils to wear masks when they return to class after Easter

  • NASUWT fears stopping measures would risk health of children and teachers
  • Government said current safety measures would be reviewed at Easter time
  • Survey of 4,000 members found 75 per cent support secondary pupils in masks

Teaching unions want to keep pupils in masks when they return from Easter.

The NASUWT fears that abandoning the safety measures would risk the health of teachers and children, and send out the wrong message about Covid-19’s threat.

Secondary school pupils are currently advised to wear face coverings where social distancing cannot be maintained – including in the classroom.

But the Government had said that the measures would be reviewed at Easter.

NASUWT union fears stopping measures would risk the health of schoolchildren and teachers

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: ‘We are not out of the woods yet and maintaining the highest levels of Covid security in our schools is critical as we move into the new term in order to protect the safety and health of teachers and learners.’

A survey of more than 4,000 NASUWT members found that 75 per cent support secondary pupils being required to wear face masks in class.

A Government spokesman said: ‘A decision will be made shortly… about whether the evidence suggests these measures [face covering guidance] can continue into the summer term.’

Leaders of five education unions, including the NASUWT sent letters to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson (pictured)

Leaders of five education unions, including the NASUWT sent letters to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson (pictured)

It came after the leaders of five education unions, including the NASUWT, called on the Government not to “rush into” removing face masks from class without careful consideration of the scientific evidence.

The joint letter from unions, to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, argues that the current evidence “does not justify a change in policy on face coverings at the start of next term”.

But last month, MPs heard that school leaders had received “threatening letters” from parents who did not want their children to wear face coverings.

A straw poll, of over 300 NASUWT members, suggests that 67% of teachers support the continuation of the guidance on face coverings into the new term.

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