Laura Doel, NAHT Cymru Director said: “It is unacceptable that school leaders are expected to shoulder the responsibility of deciding if face coverings are required in schools. Head teachers are not medical experts and the Welsh Government should not put them in this position.
“Everyone wants to see pupils back in class, with their teachers and their classmates. School leaders and their teams have worked hard over the summer playing their part to get schools ready for the start of the Autumn term.
“We need the Welsh Government to demonstrate they are in control of this situation. There needs to be absolute clarity about who is required to wear face coverings and when they need to be worn, this should include clear information in regards to pupils, teachers and parents.
“If the government leaves this decision-making to individual schools or local authorities, we will once again see a mixed economy across Wales, with different schools having different measures in place which will be unsettling and potentially unsafe for pupils, parents and staff alike. This will portray a message of confusion, not confidence in returning to school.
“If face coverings become mandatory in certain schools, then they will have to purchase many thousands of masks. This will undoubtedly come at an additional and unforeseen cost and may result in shortages as demand increases. The government needs to guarantee that enough masks will be available to schools and that the costs of getting hold of them are met in full or run the very real risk that schools will not reopen next week.”
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First published 26 August 2020