Face coverings in schools

Under enhanced and targeted protection in level 4, face coverings should be worn in classrooms by young people in the senior phase (S4-6) and their teachers. As an additional measure we are also asking parents and carers to encourage young people in S1-3 to wear face coverings in classes too. Teachers in these classes will be asked to do the same.

Face coverings should also be worn:

  • By adults wherever they cannot keep 2m distance with other adults and/or children and young people.
  • At all times when adults in primary schools, and adults and young people in secondary schools are moving around the school in corridors, office and admin areas, canteens (except when dining) and other confined communal areas, (including staff rooms and toilets).
  • 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 (see School Transport section)
  • By parents and other visitors to all school sites (whether entering the building or otherwise), including parents at drop-off and pick-up.

Anyone else, whether a child, young person or adult, wishing to wear a face covering in any part of the school is permitted to do so.

We recognise that some people cannot wear a face covering. This may be due to complex additional support needs or other reasons. This position will be respected and the Scottish Government exemption applies.

Exceptions and exemptions

It is well understood that for many reasons, some children and young people are unable to wear face coverings. The guidance is clear that in making any local decisions on the stepping up of use of face coverings, the potential impact on leaners (including those with additional support needs) who need to see facial expressions to learn effectively will be carefully reviewed. Some may wish to consider the use of see-through face coverings which are increasingly available.

We would ask that parents and carers remind their children and young people that some staff, children and young people cannot wear a face covering for good reasons and that position will be respected. This will be learning will supported in schools.

If you feel that your child should be exempt, please discuss this directly with your school.

Face Coverings

Staff and pupils should ensure they:

  • bring their own face coverings to school
  • store these safely in a washable, sealable bag or container when not in use
  • wash reusable face coverings in hot water at the end of each day
  • safely and hygienically dispose of disposable face coverings after use
  • do not share their face covering with other people
  • wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser before putting on or removing their face covering
  • wear a face covering that is the right size to cover the nose, mouth and chin
  • avoid placing it on surfaces, due to the possibility of contamination

If you are unable to do so, or if your child loses their face covering or it becomes unwearable during the school day, schools will provide suitable replacements.

Please remember that a face covering can be as simple as a scarf, snood or other piece of cloth which covers the nose and mouth. There is no specific requirement for a face mask.

If any families wish to make their own face coverings, this simple video shows you how.

Please note

The basis for this updated guidance on face coverings will remain as it is for the current school reopening guidance, i.e. non-statutory. There is no intention at present to introduce mandatory legal requirements for these specific measures.