Don’t force primary school pupils to wear masks, says top Public Health England adviser 


Don’t force primary school pupils to wear masks, says top Public Health England adviser

  • Top PHE adviser warned not to force primary school pupils to wear face masks
  • Dr Susan Hopkins said children that young have trouble keeping masks on
  • She also said young pupils need to see facial expressions for their development

Primary schools were yesterday told not to force pupils to wear masks after zealous heads prescribed them for children as young as five.

A top Public Health England adviser said experts were ‘very strongly’ against advising coverings for primary-age youngsters.

Dr Susan Hopkins told last night’s Downing Street press conference: ‘This is for two reasons.

Primary schools were yesterday told not to force pupils to wear masks after zealous heads prescribed them for children as young as five (stock image)

‘One is that they can have difficulties wearing them and keeping them on all day.

‘The second part is that it is really important that they can see facial expressions in order to develop their communication and language skills.’

Dr Hopkins added that other risk-reducing measures were in place instead, as well as plans to test the families of primary school pupils when they return to class.

A Department for Education spokesman said: ‘Our guidance is clear – face coverings are only necessary for pupils in Year 7 and above.’  

Teachers are to take control in school exams free-for-all: Staff will award pupils’ A-level and GCSE grades this year as experts warn the policy undermines credibility and universities predict chaos on admissions 

Teachers will have almost complete control over deciding the GCSE and A-level grades of their pupils this summer, it was announced last night.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said staff will also get to choose how they assess children – after exams were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Teachers can decide to rely on previous essays, coursework, mocks or any other type of classwork if they wish.

They can also choose to set their own ‘mini-exams’, either of their own making or using questions provided by exam boards – but they will not need to enforce exam conditions.

Grading decisions will only be altered by exam boards in rare cases where malpractice or questionable standards are exposed.

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