Scientists at Oxford University, Cambridge and the London Universities have signed an open letter to the Government expressing their concerns about the decision to ignore the scientific advice of SAGE and other Public Health experts to retain masks in school until June at the earliest.
'We are extremely concerned at reports that the government plans to stop requiring children to wear face coverings in secondary school classrooms from 17th May in England. Both the CDC [Centre for Disease Control & Prevention] and the WHO [World Health Organisation] recommend that children wear masks in schools, including in classrooms. Not only do masks help keep school students and staff safe, they are also a critical part of the overall effort to reduce community transmission.'
In June 2020 King Edward's carefully reviewed the scientific evidence emerging from the Asia-Pacific region where countries had successfully contained COVID: mask wearing in schools was a central strand in their strategy for reducing community spread.
Based upon this research, in September 2020 King Edward's became the first school in the country to return all students to site wearing masks when entering any of the school buildings, and to ensure that mask wearing was compulsory in classrooms. At this time local COVID infection rates in East Lindsey and N.E.Lincolnshire were low and running between 10-20 per 100K. Today the COVID rates of infection locally are similar or a little higher than in September 2020 when we recommended face masks for all students and staff.
We therefore find ourselves in full support of those scientists, academics, and world health organisations like the WHO and the CDC who are strongly recommending that face masks must continue to be worn in schools until June at the earliest, and/or until such time as the data [not the date] demonstrates that masks are no longer required in schools.