PARENTS are furious after a headteacher demanded kids wear £2 school-approved face masks.
St Edward’s Church of England Academy in Romford, East London, has insisted parents buy the new navy school uniform face masks with three layers of 100 per cent cotton.
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Kids have also been told to wear a different mask for the journey into school before changing into the special face mask at the gates.
The move sparked fury among parents who would have to shell out extra money for the new face coverings.
Since schools reopened after the coronavirus lockdown, government guidelines for face masks in schools vary depending on local areas.
Secondary schools in areas with local lockdowns – including Manchester and Birmingham – must wear face coverings in communal areas such as corridors, although they do not have to wear them in classrooms.
In Scotland, secondary school pupils must wear face masks in school corridors and the lunch hall.
Face masks are not compulsory in other parts of England, but it is up to each headteacher to make a decision on wearing masks.
St Edward's Church's website tells parents that children should wear "disposable" masks when using public transport to go to school before putting on their "school issued face masks" on arrival.
Kids will have to wear the £2 masks in communal areas including corridors, the library and school assemblies.
Headteacher Jodie Hassan wrote to parents and carers, saying: “To ensure we maintain the safety of our community and help reduce any anxiety, we plan to start the term with additional protective measures now made available to schools: students and staff will be asked to wear face masks in communal areas.”
“Face masks for students will become part of the expected school uniform from September 2020.
“School approved face masks are 100 per cent cotton and triple layered.
“The school uniform face masks are plain navy blue and are reusable.”
Ms Hassan’s letter explains parents have to buy the £2 before school restarts.
She added: “Students should wear their school uniform face masks during the school day at specific times.
“A separate face mask should be used when travelling to and from school on public transport.
“Not wearing school approved face masks in the allotted areas will be treated as not wearing school uniform properly.
“Students will be reminded that deliberate defiance will be dealt with in line with the school behaviour policy, using separate sanctions as necessary.”
But some parents reportedly reacted with anger to the rules.
Activist Jermain Jackman tweeted: “Been speaking with a parent all morning and she tells me her daughter's school – St Edward’s – is charging for face masks!?
“Students already have their own masks but are now being asked to buy 'school uniform masks'.
“It's a disgusting way to squeeze struggling parents for profit.
“Students will risk detention or being sent home if they don’t purchase this.
“Families have gone through so much over the last couple of months emotionally, mentally and financially only to be met with more distress as they're expected to pay or risk detention or being sent home.”
St Edward’s Church of England Academy has been contacted for comment.
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