Edinburgh school announces compulsory face coverings for all pupils and staff

New ruling will come into effect on Monday at 8am
Parents and staff were issued a memo by the school ahead of Monday's ruling coming into effect.Parents and staff were issued a memo by the school ahead of Monday's ruling coming into effect.
Parents and staff were issued a memo by the school ahead of Monday's ruling coming into effect.

An Edinburgh school has announced the compulsory wearing of face coverings for staff and pupils.

All adults and children at James Gillespies High School have been told they must wear face coverings when they return at 8am on Monday, August 24.

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The new ruling comes into effect following feedback from pupils, parents and staff on the matter, as well as consultation with teaching unions and the school’s health and safety committee.

In a memo to parents and teachers, the state secondary school said application of the measure was met with unanimous approval.

Pupils are also being given advice on social distancing when they are out and about in the community during breaks and lunchtimes.

School heads say their procedures and protocols will be kept “under continuous review” in accordance with the latest guidelines from the Scottish Government and the City of Edinburgh Council.

At present, the wearing of face coverings is not mandatory in Scottish schools.

However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said during FMQs on Thursday that all school pupils in Scotland may be expected to wear face coverings in the “near future”.

Ms Sturgeon has stressed there has been no clear evidence that coronavirus among young people was being transmitted in schools.

The EIS trade union, which represents teachers, has been calling on ministers to issue "stronger advice on face coverings, where physical distancing is not possible".

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Union leaders highlight that while wearing face coverings is now mandatory in places such as museums, there is no such regulation for schools.

James Gillispie's High School said masks, face coverings and visors will be available free of charge to anyone who has lost or forgotten their own.

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