Grammar school takes lead on mask wearing in schools

A top grammar school, the Belfast Royal Academy (BRA), has issued guidance to parents and guardians stating that pupils will have to wear face masks when they return for the new academic year.

The grammar is thought to be the first school in the UK to have sent out such a directive.

Belfast Royal Academy sent letters to families explaining that pupils would not be allowed into class without a mask.

It comes after Education Minister Peter Weir said children would not have to wear masks in schools because such a policy would be “not implementable”.

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BRA says it will be issuing washable masks to pupils and disposable masks will not be allowed because of their environmental impact.

The letter read: “Due to our large pupil and staff population it will be extremely difficult to maintain strict social distancing requirements.

“Therefore, in order to protect all members of the school community, including those who are vulnerable, all pupils, staff and visitors must wear a face covering within the school building.”

It stated clearly that “if a pupil arrives to school without a face mask, they will not be permitted to enter the classroom”.

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