Understanding school rules for face masks and who does not need to wear one

There are now rules about wearing face masks at schools in Scotland to keep everyone safe. The rules are different for primary and high school. Because the Scottish Government wants to keep everybody as safe as possible the rules about who should wear and mask and where they should wear it are changing depending on the number of coronavirus cases in local areas.

Not everyone is able to wear a face mask. Check out our advice below to understand school rules on face masks and face mask exemptions for pupils.

Understanding the rules about face masks in schools

High School face mask rules

If you’re in high school you will now be asked to wear a face mask at school when you’re in busier areas of the school (like in corridors or the school toilets).

If you live in an area where there are higher numbers of coronavirus cases you may be asked to wear a face mask in the classroom as well. Your school will tell you if you need to do this.

Primary School face mask rules

If you’re in primary you don’t have to wear a face mask at school unless your doctor has advised you to. You will need to wear a face mask on the school bus or other school transport though, unless your support needs mean you’re exempt from wearing one.

Not everyone at school can wear a face mask. We can help you understand more about face mask exemptions.

What if my support needs mean I find face masks difficult?

Your support needs may mean you find face masks difficult. You might find it distressing, or hard to talk to people, or hard to understand what other people are saying without seeing their mouths moving. Talk to your school about how you’re feeling and what changes need to be made to make things easier for you.

Not everyone can wear a face mask

You do NOT need to wear a face mask if….

  • you have a disability or health condition that means you cannot put a face mask on
  • face masks make you feel anxious or upset
  • you lip read to talk to people
  • face masks make it hard for you to eat, drink or take medicine

You do not need to prove to anyone that you are exempt from wearing a face mask. It is helpful to tell the school though, or to ask your parents/carers to do so. If you feel shy or awkward about telling anyone that you are exempt, visit Disability Equality Scotland where you can get a free face mask exemption card or badge.

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