Education Secretary John Swinney has confirmed new rules that will come into force for wearing face masks in schools.

The new rules mean pupils in S4-S6 and their teachers will wear a face covering in classrooms as well as when moving around the school, in areas that are in level three and level four from Monday.

It comes into effect from Monday November 2 and will apply to local authorities in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Falkirk, Lanarkshire, Dundee and Ayrshire.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

"Keeping schools open remains our priority but that can only be the case if schools are safe. There have been tremendous efforts applied by staff and pupils to ensure this is the case and I thank them all for their efforts.

"From Monday, there will be increased use of face coverings and new advice to help protect those in the shielding category.  

"It is vital that all the measures are followed rigorously in schools. Doing that – together with the collective efforts of all of us across wider society ­– will help to ensure that schools can safely remain open."

Here's what you need to know:

HeraldScotland:

Secondary Schools

This is the new guidance unless exempt.

  • Tier 3 - Parents or guardians should discuss with their GP or clinician whether children with the highest clinical risk should attend school
  • Tier 3 - Employers should ensure that individual risk assessments for school staff members with the highest clinical risk are in place and updated appropriately, and staff should speak to their employer to ensure all appropriate protections are in place. If protections cannot be put in place, they can discuss with their GP or clinician to see if a fit note may be appropriate
  • Two metre distancing should remain in place wherever possible between adults and children who are not from the same household.
  • Use of face coverings should align with Public Health Scotland’s current advice, namely that face coverings should be worn by adults where they cannot keep two metre distance from other adults and / or young people.
  • Face coverings should be used by adults when not working directly with children, for example when moving around settings, when gathering in staff, office and admin areas, and in canteens.
  • Face coverings should be strongly encouraged for parents and other visitors to the school site (whether entering the building or otherwise), including parents at drop-off and pick-up.
  • For classroom assistants and those supporting children with Additional Support Needs, who routinely have to work within two metres of secondary or special school pupils, it is advised that these adults should wear face coverings as a general rule. However, this should be balanced with the wellbeing and needs of the young person, recognising that face coverings may limit communication and could cause distress to some young people
  • Face coverings be worn by pupils and adults in communal areas in schools
  • To be worn by senior secondary pupils attending college or university for courses, or workplaces for training / work experience.
  • PE in school settings should only take place out of doors

Primary Schools

This is the new guidance unless exempt.

  • Two metre distancing should remain in place wherever possible between adults and children who are not from the same household.
  • Use of face coverings should align with Public Health Scotland’s current advice, namely that face coverings should be worn by adults where they cannot keep two metre distance from other adults.
  • As for secondary schools, face coverings should be used by adults when not working directly with children, for example when moving around settings, when in staff, office and admin areas, and in canteens.
  • As for secondary schools, face coverings should be strongly encouraged for parents and other visitors to the school site (whether entering the building or otherwise) including parents at drop-off and pick-up.
  • PE in school settings should only take place out of doors

HeraldScotland:

ELC Settings

This is the new guidance unless exempt.

  • Use of face coverings should align with Public Health Scotland’s current advice, namely that face coverings should be worn by adults where they cannot keep two metre distance from other adults.
  • As for schools, face coverings should be used by adults when not working directly with children, for example when moving around settings, when gathering in staff, office and admin areas, and in canteens.
  • As for schools, face coverings should be strongly encouraged for parents and other visitors to the ELC site (whether entering the building or otherwise), including parents at drop-off and pick-up.