Majority of students wearing masks, say secondary heads

Poll of heads on first day back also reveals most secondary and college students opt in for on-site coronavirus tests

Tes Reporter

masks in class

The majority of secondary schools and colleges in England have had nearly all their students opt in for on-site Covid tests and comply with face mask rules, a survey has suggested.

But some parents and students are not supporting schools on the "thorny issue of face coverings", a heads' leader has warned.

A snap poll by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) found that 54 per cent reported a take-up of between 90 per cent and 100 per cent for rapid Covid tests.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) have seen a take-up of between 80 per cent and 89 per cent while take-up was below 60 per cent in 6 per cent of schools, the survey found.

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The poll, of more than 700 headteachers in England, suggests that nearly three in four (73 per cent) had more than 90 per cent of students wearing face masks in class.

Some reported lower compliance, with 2 per cent saying it was below 70 per cent.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of ASCL, said: “We know schools have had to put a great deal of time and effort into obtaining parental consent for on-site Covid tests and that has clearly proved especially difficult in some places.

“Likewise, while most pupils and parents are supporting schools over the thorny issue of face coverings, it appears that some are not doing so.”

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