Secondary school pupils should still wear face masks when they return to the classroom this week, a teaching union boss has said.
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the National Education Union, told ministers they needed to take urgent action to avoid disruption to the new academic year.
She said: ‘It would be much better if schools had not been told to abandon measures which they adopted last term.
‘At a time when infection levels are 26 times what they were this time last year, it makes no sense to go back into school with so few safety measures.’
Yesterday Dr Bousted predicted that schools would be forced to adopt face masks and other Covid measures ‘very shortly’.
Millions of youngsters in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to go back to classrooms between now and the end of next week, sparking fears of an inevitable spike in cases.
Pupils in England will only be required to test themselves twice a week for the virus, with all other measures including face masks and social distancing abandoned.
But in Scotland where schools returned in mid-August, pupils and staff are still required to wear face masks and keep a one-metre distance. Despite these measures the country has seen a record surge in Covid cases.
Read more: No matter what the health and psychological effect on children all (she’s never bothered to find out) all secondary school pupils in England should still wear face masks when they return to classrooms, ludicrous teaching union boss says