No 10 urged to review guidance on masks in schools amid Scotland announcement

Pupils in Scotland will be required to wear a face covering when moving around schools, Scotland’s Education Secretary has confirmed, amid pressure on the UK Government to undergo a similar review in England.

Secondary schools will be given “obligatory guidance” that pupils should wear face coverings when moving around schools in Scotland from August 31, John Swinney said on Tuesday.

On Monday, a Number 10 spokesman said there were “no plans” to review the guidance on face coverings in schools.

But the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said as evidence continues to emerge, Westminster should review its guidance, after the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised that children aged 12 and over should wear a mask.

ASCL general secretary Geoff Barton told the Daily Telegraph: “We would expect the Government in Westminster to review its guidance on the use of face coverings in schools – which currently says they are not required – in light of the WHO guidance and the consultation taking place in Scotland.

“The evidence is clearly evolving on this issue and it is important that it is kept under review and that clear direction is provided to schools.”

Mr Swinney said that, from August 31, pupils in Scotland should be wearing masks in areas where physical distancing is not possible.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, he said the Scottish Government was going further than the WHO guidance by recommending masks on school buses.