The Park Federation does not believe face masks for children are necessary. It has invested much time, thought, effort and resources into ensuring that all its schools are Covid-19 secure. Its schools are safe environments without the necessity to wear face masks.
However, the federation fully understands that other people and organisations take a different view about masks. It is fair to say, that both scientific and public opinion on this matter are far from settled.
In light of these differences, the federation will provide some flexibility to families on this matter.
- If a family believes it is preferable for their child to wear a face mask at school and cannot be convinced by the school that wearing a face mask is unnecessary, then the school will allow masks to be worn but only in certain circumstances and under certain conditions.
- Face masks can be worn in communal areas such as corridors, cloakrooms and playgrounds.
- Face masks can be worn during lunchtimes and playtimes but obviously not in the lunch hall or canteen when people are eating and drinking.
- Children must not wear face masks in classrooms because the high levels of supervision in such environments make face masks unnecessary. The adults in the room can ensure that safe practices are kept to at all times. Moreover, children need to speak during lessons to answer questions and ask for support with their learning. Face masks would inhibit their ability to partake fully in learning.
- Face masks must not be worn in PE lessons where physical exertion requires the mouth and nose to be uncovered so that adequate air can be breathed in and out.
- As the school does not believe face masks are necessary, it will not monitor the wearing of face masks to ensure that they are being worn appropriately. Any family choosing for their child to wear a face mask, will need to explain to their child how they want their son or daughter to manage the mask during the school day, including how to dispose of the mask safely. The family will need to put the child’s name on the mask.
- Children in Nursery and Reception will not be allowed to wear face masks in school. The chords, ties and elastic on face masks present life-threatening hazards to very young children because of the risk of strangulation.