New advice for Fife parents as pupils told to wear face masks

Updated rules also cover transport to and from school
Pupils must now wear face masks moving around their school building (Pic: John Devlin)Pupils must now wear face masks moving around their school building (Pic: John Devlin)
Pupils must now wear face masks moving around their school building (Pic: John Devlin)

New guidance has been given to parents across Fife as pupils adapt to new rules which make face masks mandatory.

Following on from the First Minister's announcement last, as of Monday, all pupils in Scotland must wear a face covering in school and on school transport.

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Fife Council has said that parents must provide their children with their own masks - schools will only have a small supply for those who have forgotten to bring one , or who don’t have one.

According to the guidance, all secondary pupils, and those in special schools, must wear a face covering when moving around the building during the day.

This includes when entering and leaving, moving between classes and in all communal areas. Face coverings don’t have to be worn in the classroom but pupils can do so if they wish.

Children travelling in school taxis and minibuses must also wear a face covering, unless they are medically exempt.

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They don’t have to wear a face mask on school buses, but they are necessary if they use public buses, including the X95/395 to Waid Academy and the 98 to Madras College.

A Fife Council spokesperson said: "If there are physical, behavioural or emotional reasons why a child cannot wear a face mask, they will not have to do so. However, the child's parent or carer must contact their school to discuss this."

Carrie Lindsay, executive director of education, also addressed concerns from the local community over pupils who haven't worn face masks in busy shops and small businesses at lunchtime.

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In an update to parents, she said: "We’ve received a few reports of large numbers of pupils in shops and local food businesses near our high schools, especially at lunchtimes.

"There are concerns that they are not social distancing or wearing face coverings. Can you, please, remind your children and young people that they need to adhere to the current guidelines when they are out and about in our communities? This is to help keep us all safe."

Regular cleaning will take place across schools, and children have been ask to dispose of masks responsibly.

They don’t have to physically distance from each other, but the council have asked them to keep their distance from adults.

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In light of new mandatory face coverings, advice is also being given to parents.

This includes staying 2metres away from other adults when dropping children off, and not congregating around the school gates.

A spokesperson added: "Schools will have their own tailored approach to how children should arrive and leave. They will be in touch with specific details for your child."

"If you are thinking about using a car to get to/from school remember that parking near schools is strongly discouraged for safety reasons. Before schools return, look for alternative drop off points, away from the school, where you and your children can walk the remaining distance."

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> Hannah Brown is the Local Democracy Reporter for Fife & Angus

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