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Article: What are the rules for face masks in education?

What are the rules for face masks in education?

What are the rules for face masks in education?

Face masks in schools

It has been a confusing time with lots of uncertainty regarding the wearing of face masks in schools, colleges and universities.

Governments across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have issued different guidelines. To try and clarify the situation we have published the most up to date guidelines we have been able to find here.

Scotland & Northern Ireland

  • In Scotland and Northern Ireland, secondary school pupils will have to wear face coverings between lessons from 31 August 2020.

  • The Scottish government says all pupils over the age of 12 should wear face coverings in corridors and communal areas. However, pupils will not have to wear them in classrooms.

  • On school buses, everyone over the age of five will have to wear face coverings.

  • In Northern Ireland, the education minister said guidance on face coverings would be updated to include wearing them in the corridors of post-primary schools.


  • Secondary schools have the ''discretion'' to require face coverings in communal areas, where social distancing is not possible.
  • Face masks will be mandatory for schools in parts of England that are under a local lockdown, or facing extra government restrictions.
  • This will not include in classrooms during lessons.
  • The new guidance extends to further education colleges but not to primary schools.


  • It is up to schools and councils to decide if face coverings are used.
  • The government is recommending those aged 11 and over wear face masks when social distancing cannot be maintained, including in schools and school transport.

Obviously this is a changing situation and we will endeavour to keep you updated as things change.

In the meantime we rather like this video from the BBC showing how to wear face coverings correctly.

 Watch Video


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