Basically the opposite of this.

I know someone who works in an English secondary school (ages 11 - 18), and they've said that their headteacher has forbidden staff from wearing face masks because they'll "cause distress."

But surely this can't be demanded of them, and is more of a request (which can be ignored)?

Despite this, the vast majority of staff (and students) have chosen not to wear masks, even though they may want to - they don't wear them because "nobody else does." Maybe they're afraid of losing their jobs, although surely they couldn't be fired for adhering to government advice.

This head teacher seems to be burying their head in the sand and acting like everything is normal, which I find somewhat bizarre. From what I've heard about conditions in the school, its response to the pandemic has been fairly shambolic, and staff don't have much confidence or feel safe.

  • 7
    Call the police, contact local MP and Education Minister, stand back and wait for results.
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 19, 2020 at 5:53
  • 3
    sounds like someone trying to drum up a bit of drama, best to ignore it.
    – Kilisi
    Sep 19, 2020 at 7:01
  • 3
    Which part of the UK? AIUI, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all have different government guidelines on CoViD-19 safety in schools. And is OP's acquaintance in a trade union? The main unions representing teachers (and other school staff) in the UK definitely have a position on this issue. Sep 19, 2020 at 11:42
  • 6
    @Jack You know what actually causes health issues? COVID-19. Sep 19, 2020 at 13:33
  • 3
    @Jack citation needed.
    – Kat
    Sep 19, 2020 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


OP has now clarified that the school in question is in England, in which case the official government guidance on face coverings in schools is here. It recommends against face coverings in classrooms, and leaves the decision up to individual headteachers in other parts of the school. The main unions representing teachers and ancillary staff in schools are not at all happy about this position.

  • 1
    And there was me thinking the original question before any edit was tagged “United Kingdom”. At least that was ehat led me to my, and the first, comment.
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 19, 2020 at 17:15
  • 2
    @SolarMike Yes, it was so tagged, but different parts of the UK have different policies, so it needed narrowing down to England before answering. OP narrowed it down with a text edit 5 hours ago. Sep 19, 2020 at 19:02

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