Allow Year 5 child the reasonable adjustment to wear his mask to school during COVID

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Famous Wood, Year 5, has not been able to attend school at St Matthew's CofE Primary in Smethwick since the Autumn term began, because his school’s leadership team have made the decision that he is not allowed in wearing his mask.

This has caused huge disruption to his education and his wellbeing. He wants to go back to school and carry on his learning.

We are asking the head teacher to reconsider this decision, and to allow Famous to attend school wearing his mask, as it is a reasonable adjustment.

Famous is anxious about the risk of Covid, and this anxiety is preventing him from feeling safe in school without a mask. Under the Equalities Act 2010, the school has a legal responsibility to make reasonable adjustments for anxiety.

We call on the school to provide their clear reasoning: Why have they refused this adjustment, and why have they been unable to resolve this issue for over 12 weeks while a child is out of school?

While Sandwell council says masks are not required for children aged 6-12, there is no guidance that prohibits children wearing them. Other Primary schools in the UK have already made masks compulsory, so it is not unreasonable for a child to ask to wear one.

Guidance from the World Health Organisation says that it is reasonable for a child aged 6-12 to wear mask if:

  • The child lives in a high transmission area
  • The child comes into contact with a high risk family member
  • The child has been given adequate instruction from responsible adults on how to remove and handle their mask safely to avoid contamination.

All of the above are true for Famous. He wants to be careful, safe, and to be back at school after many weeks of uncertainty.

We kindly ask that you sign our petition in support of Famous being allowed to return to school wearing his mask.