Teaching unions demand schoolchildren wear masks in classrooms until at least ...

Teaching unions demand schoolchildren wear masks in classrooms until at least June 21 and lifting measures too soon will have 'consequences' for the health of youngsters and parents England is set to dump face masks in class for secondary schools from May 17 But trade unions insist this must be pushed back to at least the end of term Figures suggest nine in ten secondary schools saw no Covid outbreak in March 

By Luke Andrews Health Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 17:03 BST, 4 May 2021 | Updated: 17:03 BST, 4 May 2021

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Teaching unions today demanded secondary school children must keep wearing face masks in the classroom until the end of term.

England is set to dump the troublesome rule from the next lockdown easing in less than two weeks, amid concerns over how it affects pupils education.

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But the National Education Union (NEU) among others has now insisted in an open letter that the order should be extended until June 21.

They claim lifting the measure too soon will have 'consequences' for the health of pupils and their parents.

It comes after official figures suggested almost nine in ten secondary schools suffered no Covid outbreaks just a week after they reopened.

Trade unions had protested that year groups should return in stages, claiming that bringing them back all at once could make an outbreak more likely. 

But twice weekly swabbing showed there was only a small rise in cases, which experts said was to be expected because people were mixing more.

ALMOST 85 PER CENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS HAD NO COVID CASES AFTER THEY OPENED, FIGURES SUGGEST

Almost nine in 10 secondary schools in England had no coronavirus cases after they reopened, official figures suggest.

Surveillance data showed only nine of 80 schools surveyed had spotted one infected pupil or staff member in the fortnight ending March 31. Four saw at least two cases, according to the Office for National Statistics report.

Almost 10,000 secondary teachers and pupils were swabbed for the study, which is carried out regularly to track the spread of the disease in schools.

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Just 0.34 per cent of pupils tested positive — compared to 1.2 per cent in December, when Covid was spreading rapidly in the community. Only one in every 500 teachers were infected in the last round of testing, down from one in 60 before Christmas.

Public Health England bosses said the data was 'reassuring'.

It comes after teaching unions warned Number 10's 'big bang' reopening of

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