Face coverings and secondary school pupils
2 September 2020
Secondary school pupils in Powys are strongly recommended by the county council to wear face coverings indoors, where social distancing cannot be maintained in school.
Powys County Council has made the decision in order to provide the strongest assurances possible that we want our schools to be safe for both learners and staff. At this time, this is considered the most appropriate way forward given the expectation that all adults in Wales, in indoor settings, should wear face coverings where social distancing cannot be maintained.
The use of face coverings does not apply to primary-aged pupils or those pupils who are exempt for medical or personal reasons.
This means that secondary school pupils are strongly recommended to wear a face covering in school communal areas, including corridors and school halls, and potentially in the classroom if social distancing is not possible.
Secondary schools will support children entitled to free school meals to ensure that they have access to appropriate face coverings.
Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education, said: "Covid-19 has thrown up a series of unprecedented challenges as we work to ensure that schools are safe when pupils return after the summer holidays.
"Our priority is the safety of our learners and school staff and that is why we are strongly recommending secondary school pupils wear face coverings in their school if social distancing cannot be maintained.
"We believe that this approach will help keep everyone as safe as possible.
"For our learners with health conditions or have additional learning needs and cannot sustain the wearing of face coverings, will we work with schools and consider ways to ensure that they are supported when they return.
"This decision will be subject to regular review, but for now we hope that this gives learners, parents and staff the assurances that they need in order get back to school as quickly and as safely as possible."