Scottish Government Announcement Regarding Face Coverings in Schools

Wednesday 26th August 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I would like to thank you for your continued support and understanding as our schools return from the Covid pandemic lockdown.

You will be aware that the Scottish Government announced on the 25 August that from 31 August, young people over the age of 12 in secondary schools should habitually be wearing face coverings when they are moving around schools and corridors and in communal areas where it is difficult to maintain physical distancing.

The new guidance states:

Face coverings should be worn in the following circumstances (except where an adult or child/young person is exempt from wearing a covering):

 Where adults and young people in secondary schools (including special schools and independent and grant aided schools) are moving about the school in corridors and confined communal areas (including toilets) where physical distancing is particularly difficult to maintain; and  In line with the current arrangements for public transport, where adults and children and young people aged 5 and over are travelling on dedicated school transport.

This new advice comes from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is based on evidence that teenagers can infect others in the same way as adults can and therefore these new measures will ensure we keep pace with the emerging advice about how to keep our schools open and to keep our schools safe.

By following these new guidelines you and your child will be supporting our schools to ensure health and safety remains a key priority, and that all staff and pupils can be confident they are in a Covid safe environment.

Individual exemptions can be granted for health reasons, or for pupils where their significant additional support needs would mean wearing a face covering could potentially cause a crisis situation for them. The Head Teacher of your school will be able to address any health related queries, along with creating individual plans for pupils with significant additional supports needs. Further information on exemptions can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-staying-safe-andprotecting-others/pages/face-coverings/

Your child’s school will provide the initial face mask for your child. I understand you may have questions regarding these new guidelines and we encourage you to contact your Head Teachers in the first instance to discuss any concerns.

Yours sincerely

Fiona Robertson Executive Director Children, Young People & Partnerships

cathy.lailvaux@midlothian.gov.uk

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