Face coverings will no longer have to be worn in classrooms or communal areas by pupils.
Pupils will no longer be required to wear face coverings in schools and colleges from 17 May, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
In a press conference this afternoon, the Prime Minister announced that the country’s roadmap out of lockdown is on track and Step 3 will go ahead as planned on 17 May.
The latest data shows infection rates continuing to decrease, deaths and hospitalisations at their lowest level since July, and the vaccine rollout continuing at pace.
In line with this data, pupils will no longer be required to wear face coverings in the classroom or communal areas in schools and colleges. This will improve interaction between teachers and students, ensuring the clearest possible communication to support learning.
Transmission of the virus in schools continues to decrease in line with wider community transmission, with the latest statistics showing a significant drop in the number of teachers and staff testing positive.
The decision has taken into consideration the latest scientific evidence, medical advice and stakeholder feedback on the impacts of wearing face coverings in schools and colleges.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“Step three of the roadmap allows people to mix indoors once again and in line with the latest data, we no longer need to recommend that face coverings are worn in the classroom.
“Over the past year we have always put the wellbeing of pupils and staff first, and this step is now the right one, as vaccinations protect the most vulnerable in society and we turn our attention to building back better from the pandemic.
“Testing in schools and colleges continues to be important, so I urge all students, families and teachers to keep testing themselves twice weekly, to help reduce the risk of transmission.”