Masks are once again mandatory in secondary school communal areas for staff and pupils. Despite the current lack of concrete evidence that the Omicron variant is any more dangerous than Delta – the new measures are only here to “buy time” for scientists to better understand the threat – the NASUWT Teachers’ Union is already insisting these rules don’t go far enough.
Coincidentally, the Pearson National Teaching Awards ceremony was on Sunday, fifteen Gold Award winners were celebrated for excellence in their selected categories, with all the award-winning teachers, teaching assistants and lecturers being presented with their trophies at a glamorous ceremony at The Brewery in the City of London. This was the day after the Omicron variant restrictions were announced. Hundreds of teachers from across the country gathered for the packed awards ceremony – and almost no-one, with the exception of the waiting staff, wore masks.
It is fair to point out that they were within the rules. However the teaching unions want masks reintroduced for primary schools and in classrooms:
“The reintroduction of the requirement for face coverings to be worn in communal areas in all settings by staff and visitors and by pupils in year 7 and above, including on public transport, is helpful. But there is strong evidence that the Government needs to go further, including by reintroducing the requirement for wearing face coverings in classrooms in light of the persistently high daily number of Coronavirus cases.”
It’s one thing to call for yet more government restrictions nearly two years into a pandemic; it’s another to completely ignore them just days before grandstanding about it in the media…