Hampshire pupils 'feel free' as face masks dropped from classrooms

THE end of compulsory face masks in school hasn't come soon enough, according to students.

Thursday, 20th January 2022, 7:36 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 10:44 pm

Yesterday, prime minister Boris Johnson announced that face coverings would no longer be a requirement in classrooms, as the government scraps its plan B measures for Covid-19.

Today, pupils in Hampshire have spoken about the impact face masks had in schools, and how school life will change with their removal.

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From left, A'layah Parris, Ariel Lusala and Jake Hunter, all Year 11 at Park Community School in Havant. Picture: David George

At Park Community School in Middle Park Way, Leigh Park, students must still wear face coverings while they walk through school corridors, until the rules on public spaces change next Thursday.

Ariel Lusala, Year 11, said: 'There have been problems where you try and speak to a teacher but they can't hear you behind your face mask.

'Sometimes they're speaking at the front of the class and you can't hear them either - it's obstructed our learning quite a bit.'

A'layah Parris, also Year 11, added: 'I feel so much more free, and it's easier to communicate without the mask.

'I study drama and in those lessons we were allowed to take our masks off to perform which was nice, but the real struggle has been inside the classrooms.

'I'm happy that the restrictions have been lifted.'

Fellow Year 11 pupil, Jake Hunter, noted that the school felt 'more lively' and that you could tell how everyone was feeling by their facial expressions.

Park Community School headteacher, Chris Anders, said some students and staff will likely continue to wear face coverings over the coming weeks, adding that it is a matter of personal choice.

He said: 'While many people still have concerns about Covid-19 and not having to wear face masks, for students and staff this is a sign of things finally returning to normal.

'Students received their first vaccines last term, and the second jabs will be done over the next couple of weeks. Some people will choose to continue wearing their face masksand that is absolutely fine.

'Two years ago you would typically only see people wearing face masks in east Asia - now it has become the norm right across the world.'

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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