Milton Keynes primary school to be first to make pupils wear masks at all times

21 August 2020, 09:05

Pupils at Eaton Mill Primary School will have to wear facemasks
Pupils at Eaton Mill Primary School will have to wear facemasks. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A Milton Keynes primary schools is set to become the first in the country to make pupils wear a mask when it returns in September.

Children heading back to the Milton Keynes school will be required to wear a mask or plastic face shield - with the only exceptions when eating lunch or going on daily walks.

Premier Academy Eaton Mill Primary School's headteacher, Warren Harrison, told parents in a newsletter of the changes - warning them they also had to wear a mask if they wanted to come on school property.

In the letter Mr Harrison also blamed for the Government for "doing everything on the hoof" and said the school was bringing in the measures when the new term starts due to "common sense".

The only pupils exempt from the measure will be the reception class who will not be made to cover their faces.

In the newsletter sent to parents of pupils at the school in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire Mr Harrison claimed he was acting with "common sense, logic and reason" in the face of coronavirus.

All children in year one upwards who return to the school on September 8 will have to wear masks or visors.

But the headteacher's plans go against Government guidance which state pupils under 11 do not have to wear masks.

He wrote: "All staff, children, parents, carers and visitors must don a mask when on site or they will not be allowed access.

“Face coverings are not acceptable. We recommend the N95 or surgical masks.

“Once in their bubbles, children and those members of staff in close contact with children will change from a mask to a named shield which will be supplied by the school. Anyone may however stay in a mask if they prefer."

The headteacher added any pupil needing the loo or wanting to move between classes has to keep their face mask or shield on.

He added: "When not in the classroom, masks may be removed for eating purposes and when outside the building during the bubble’s daily walks. All cross bubble contact between children and staff and staff and staff will need all parties to don a mask.

“Children will be dismissed in masks to adults wearing masks.”

Speaking to the Sun Online, Mr Harrison added that the new rules have been brought in because more evidence suggests the virus is an aerosol spread disease.

He also said the set up of the school means a one-way system with social distancing instead of masks would be a struggle, and that the virus and safety fears has led to five staff resignations.

It comes after he wrote a message to parents several weeks back, saying: “None of us can afford to be complacent.

“And if you are not taking Covid-19 seriously then we need to find you a school which better matches your view of the world. Maybe try Hogwarts."