Kids told to wear coats and scarves as windows flung open to limit Covid spread

KIDS heading back to school have been told to wear coats and scarves as teachers fling open windows in the middle of winter in an attempt to limit the spread of Covid.

Students at Lychett Minster School in Upton, near Poole, Dorset, have been told to rug up so they won't shiver during class as temperatures drop. 

The rules are being enforced to its 1,400 pupils aged 11 to 18 to help limit the spread of Covid-19, as the government announced schools must return to wearing face coverings in the classroom.

Students will also be required on return to take a lateral flow test everyday for the first week and twice a week thereafter.

As well as making students wear face coverings in classroom, corridors and other communal areas, Andrew Mead, the headteacher, has also made the decision to ensure classroom doors and windows are kept open throughout the day.

As a result, students will be allowed to wear coats and scarves in case they feel the cold weather and to make the new classroom conditions as pleasant as possible.

He said: "At Lytchett Minster School we will be requiring all students to take a lateral flow test on their first day back. They will be wearing face coverings in classrooms, corridors and other communal areas.

"We are encouraging all students to take a lateral flow test (at home) every day this week and thereafter twice a week.

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"Classrooms will be well ventilated with doors and windows kept open as much as possible. In view of this, we are allowing students to wear coats and scarves in lessons."

While Mr Mead recognises that students may find wearing a face mask all day uncomfortable, he also argued that "it is a price worth paying" to reduce transmissions.

"Wearing a face covering for five hours a day is not pleasant for students, but if it means we can reduce transmissions and keep school open, it is a price worth paying," he said.

It comes as Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi hopes new measures will help to avoid staff absences and ensure that the number of people at work is higher than last year.

Mr Zahawi also urged that "the priority is to keep schools open" as Lytchett Minster School's headmaster explains that face-to-face teaching is preferred over remote learning.

Mr Mead hopes the school's new Covid measures will help reduce the number of staff absences.

However, he has also warned that remote learning could return for non-examination year groups if staff absences 'become unsustainable'.

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