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

With the new school year starting, there are still rules about wearing face masks that everyone needs to know to help keep everyone safe. The rules are different for primary and high school but they have not changed. They will be reviewed in six weeks, at the end of September.

Not everyone is able to wear a face mask. Below is our advice to help you better understand school rules on face masks and face mask exemptions for pupils.

Secondary School

  • If you’re in high school, you will continue to be asked to wear a face mask at school for most of the time. This includes in classrooms, communal areas and when moving about the school.
  • If you use school transport you will also continue to be asked to wear a face mask during your journeys to and from school.
  • Not everyone is able to wear a face mask. If you don’t think you need to, it’s best to check with a member of staff from your school.

Primary School

  • If you’re at primary school, you still don’t have to wear a face mask unless your doctor has suggested you do.
  • You will need to continue to wear a face mask on the school bus or other school transport though, unless your support needs mean you’re don’t have to.
  • However, if you would like to wear a face covering you should be allowed to do so.

Not everyone can wear a face mask

You do NOT need to wear a face mask at school in Scotland if….

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

For example: You may not have to wear a face mask if you are communicating with someone who relies on lip reading and facial expressions to communicate.

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.