We are calling on Conservative-run Somerset County Council to do the right thing for the safety of our children, for the safety of drivers, and to minimise the risk of further school closures or other lockdown measures. Please make facemasks compulsory for all secondary school children (11+) who are not covered by specific exemptions (such as for medical reasons).
Somerset County Council currently recommend that children wear masks on school transport, but taking their lead from national Conservative policy have failed to make this compulsory, without giving any explanation for this decision. As no funding for additional buses has been provided there is no social distancing on board school transport, and whilst students are encouraged to sit in year group bubbles different year groups sit immediately next to each other, and face masks would reduce the risk of infection between students who may not interact when at school or between students and drivers who only see children at thatbooing.
Children failing to wear masks would not be refused travel but reported to Somerset County Council, who would contact the parents of repeat offenders. Student who continue to fail to wear a mask after this warning could be banned from school transport. This is the same system currently used for students unable to produce a valid bus pass.
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