ASCL comment on lifting of face masks in classrooms

07/05/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to reports that the government is planning to lift the requirement to wear face masks in secondary school and college classrooms. 
 
Responding to reports that the government is planning to lift the requirement to wear face masks in secondary school and college classrooms, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“It is obviously better for communication and learning if we don’t need to have children wearing face masks in classrooms. But we know there will be concerns among some staff and parents about the risk of infection, and it is important to remember that not everyone has received the Covid vaccine yet, or a second dose of the vaccine. Any relaxation of face-mask rules must be guided by clear scientific advice and we would expect this to be kept under review in the event of an increase in cases.
 
“What we want to see from the government is clarity in the guidance that is given to schools and colleges over this matter so that everyone knows where they stand and there aren’t grey areas left to negotiate. It’s important that it’s very clear what schools and colleges are required to do, and where they have discretion to make decisions based on their own contexts and risk assessments.”