“no-one should be excluded from education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering”
This was what the School told the Court and was relied on by the Court in its decision that at this stage an injunction is not necessary to protect Child AB.
AB, aged 12, had taken the brave step to not to wear a mask at school, despite staff and peer pressure to wear one.
Child AB had given evidence that “Like one of my friends said to me ‘I feel as those wearing it is harming me, but I feel like we have to because I don’t want to get told off.’ Those were the words she was using.”
She also reported “Teachers take it in turns, some of them seeming to enjoy it, wondering corridors and checking through the windows in classes to make sure everyone’s wearing masks. Three bad-behaviour points and you get excluded. It’s not done quietly but in front of everyone.”
At this stage the Court was not required to decide exactly what was happening in the school but it became important that the school assured the Court that Child AB would not be required to wear a mask. In giving this assurance, the school relied on its policy – derived from the government guidance – that it would not require any child to wear a mask, even if (like Child AB) they do not have a medical exemption.
The Court’s decision emphasises that no child in any school can be forced to wear a mask. No medical exemption is required.
The Court also noted that the school had not provided enough evidence to find it had conducted a full risk assessment or that it was sufficient. Neither the government nor the school has assessed the risk of physical or psychological harms from wearing masks throughout almost all the school day (in classrooms, in corridors and on public transport) and the Court acknowledged the detailed evidence of those harms by Chartered Health and Safety Practitioner, Ms Simone Plaut and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Zenobia Storah. These reports are available here: