School brings in face masks in lessons rule to limit Covid-19 risk

Copleston High School. Picture: CHALROTTE BOND

Copleston High School. Picture: CHALROTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Ipswich’s Copleston High School has told students and staff to wear face masks in lessons in a bid to further “protect them and their families” from the risk of coronavirus.

Copleston High School principal Andy Green said face masks had significant benefits in schools. Pict

Copleston High School principal Andy Green said face masks had significant benefits in schools. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL - Credit: Archant

The Gippeswyk Community Educational Trust school had already brought in rules saying students should wearing face coverings in communal areas, such as corridors.

Now, in light of the second national lockdown, the Foxhall Road school has decided to widen the use of face masks - so that pupils wear them in lessons and when moving around the site, including when they are outside.

MORE: School to discuss wider use of face masks amid ‘dichotomy’ of second lockdown

Principal Andy Green said there would be some important exceptions, such as those who are exempt from wearing masks for medical reasons.

Students are also not required to wear them in PE lessons, or when eating or drinking.

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And Copleston has taken steps to help those hindered by the wearing of masks in lessons - for example, it has bought a “significant number” of masks with clear areas around the mouths, to help students with impaired hearing.

But Mr Green said that while the “wearing of masks is not particularly comfortable” and a “potential increased strain on well-being”, he told parents in a letter: “As we re-enter a national lockdown it is clear that the virus is having a significant impact once again.

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“I am aware that the wearing of masks at all times does bring a degree of anxiety for some, but I hope that our focus on health and safety and our desire to remain open as a school will have an overwhelmingly positive impact on well-being.

“At Copleston we have always tried to go the extra mile to keep our school safe for your children and we will continue to do that.

“This is both to protect them and their families from the virus as much as possible but also so that we can provide an excellent education to them every day.

“I know that locally, nationally and internationally there is much debate as to how the virus should be managed.

“At Copleston we will continue to do our best for your children and I thank you for your support over the face mask decision within an establishment that has nearly 2,000 students and 250 members of staff.”

Students and staff must wear masks as soon as they are on the school site and the latest decision on face masks will be reviewed at the end of the national lockdown, due on December 2.

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