Masks and Testing
Preparations are well under way to welcome all the children back on Monday. We will send an email with a few reminders tomorrow (lunch orders, PE kits etc…) but following a few questions, I wanted to write this evening about testing and the wearing of masks specifically. There is some confusion around this, probably due to the different protocols in primary and secondary schools.
Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering and they will not be asked to wear one. Dr Susan Hopkins, the Chief Medical Adviser for NHS Test and Trace, has said that:
“The consensus among educationalists, public health and clinical specialists is that it is not advisable for primary school children to wear face coverings. That is why Public Health England has not recommended to the Department for Education that they should be worn by primary pupils in the classroom. Children need to see facial expressions to develop their communication and language skills and practically, they can have difficulties keeping them on all day.”
Staff may wear masks in communal areas where social distancing is not possible but will not wear them in classrooms.
NHS Test and Trace announced earlier this week, that all adults in households with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing to be used twice weekly.
Children of primary school age (and below) without symptoms are not being asked to take a test.
Test kits are free and can either be collected or ordered online, as set out below. We cannot hand test kits out from school but you are able to access them as follows:
- through your employer, if they offer testing to employees
- by collecting a home test kit from a local test site – anyone aged 18 or over can collect 2 packs of 7 tests
- by ordering a home test kit online – you are advised not to order online if you can access testing through other routes, this frees up home delivery for those who need it most.
I hope this provides some clarification but if you need any more information, please come back to me.