Coronavirus: MP says school face mask rules 'need clarifying'

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Caroline NokesImage source, HOC
Image caption,
Caroline Nokes MP said parents and pupils needed "certainty" over the rules

An MP has asked the government to "clarify" advice on the wearing of face masks by school pupils.

Romsey MP Caroline Nokes said children returning to secondary schools on Monday would be expected to wear masks on school buses but not in classrooms.

Her concern was sparked by a constituent, Kirsty Gray, whose sons were told they would "not be allowed" to wear masks in school.

Government advice says face coverings in school are "not recommended".

Image caption,
Kirsty Gray said the wearing of face masks in schools should be a matter of personal choice

Ms Gray, from Andover, Hampshire, said she was concerned both for her sons' protection and for herself as someone with asthma.

She said: "I do not believe that any person should be denied the ability to wear a face mask should they wish to.

"Health decisions should be made by individuals and not by the school administrators."

Her sons attend Test Valley School in Stockbridge, which wrote to her saying masks would not be allowed in school.

In a separate letter to parents, the school said it would follow government advice that face masks were "not recommended".

Ms Gray said: "I was surprised that [the school] seems to have gone that extra mile."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Secondary school children in France have to wear masks in class

Ms Nokes, Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North, said she had raised the issue of masks with Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

She said: "He was very clear that Public Health England advice so far is that masks are not needed in schools.

"I have followed that up in writing asking him to provide absolute clarity.

"We know that young people will be expected to wear masks on school transport... and then it's important that they know whether that mask has to be put away."

Test Valley School has been approached for comment.