Everyone should do their part by wearing masks, says student

Students wearing masks in a classroom overlaid with images of Copleston High School and Thomas Gainsborough School

Thomas Gainsborough School and Copleston High School have reacted to government guidance reinstating masks in communal areas - Credit: PA images/ Thomas Gainsborough School/ Charlotte Bond

Since the start of term, schools have been navigating ever-changing Covid measures to ensure the safety of both students and staff.  

With the government having recently reinstated mask wearing in communal areas for school pupils in Year 7 and above, though one Suffolk school has announced it will go a step further to reintroduce masks in classrooms.

In a letter to parents on Tuesday, Thomas Gainsborough School, in Great Cornard, wrote that masks will be reintroduced in classrooms.

It is also postponing its year 9 option evening and will continue daily lateral flow testing.  

Copleston High School in Ipswich will only be asking pupils to wear masks in communal areas having had pupils wear masks in classrooms over the last month.  

Andy Green, Headteacher at Copleston High School, explained that he has taken this decision to be in line with government guidance.

Andy Green, principal of Copleston High School in Ipswich

Headteacher Andy Green says face masks will continue to be enforced in line with government guidance - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

 

He said: “Prior to this Monday we had masks in communal areas and in classrooms so that we were in line with the guidance.  

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“Ipswich had a very high rate going back about a month ago. But now the town has a much lower rate so we’ve currently got masks in communal areas only in line with what all other schools around the country are doing or are going to do.  

“Of course, with the new variant we’ll be monitoring the situation every day and if there was to be a lot of cases in the area then again, we would have a discussion at trust level and we would think about whether we would need to reinstate masks in lessons." 

Sixth form students at Copleston welcome the reintroduction of masks in shops and continual use within the school. 

17-year-old sixth form student Alesha Senior at school

Alesha Senior, 17, says the reintroduction of face masks makes her feel safer - Credit: Tamika Green

17-year-old Alesha Senior said: “I think the masks in public, communal areas and public transport just really pushes us to feel safer going out because I think with the new variant there has been more fear rising back up about another lockdown.  

“Going out and seeing everyone in masks it just feels like everyone is doing their part and me being able to wear a mask to protect those around me just makes me feel more comfortable.”