by Freddie Sayers
Sunday, 28
February 2021

Headmaster: I refuse to make pupils wear masks in class

One London school will not be following the Government guidance
by Freddie Sayers

David Perks is the founder and headteacher at the East London Science School, built on the principle of offering a strong foundation in science and maths and encouraging critical thinking.

When they come back on March 8th, he will not be following government guidance and requiring his pupils to wear facemasks in class.

“I just felt it was completely upside down,” he tells me on LockdownTV. “If you’re going to bring the kids back, we want face to face teaching. Unless you do that, what are we actually doing?”

“We’ve just been doing months of Zoom lessons where the big problem you have with children is they won’t turn their cameras on. To then bring them into school, and instead of getting on with what you normally do, you put a face mask on — it’s like being back at home in a Zoom lesson. It’s just completely antithetical to what we’re trying to do.”

His school was hit earlier in the pandemic, with so many of the teachers and senior leadership falling ill to Covid they had to close the school even before the Government ordered it. So he now believes a lot of the teachers and pupils are immune. “We haven’t had a single positive test from a member of staff or child since December,” he says.

He believes the sudden change in guidance a year into the pandemic, tightening recommendations on mask wearing in class, is a political move designed to appease the teaching unions.

“It completely strikes at the heart of the relationship between the child and the teacher in the room. If you can’t have that relationship, then what are we doing, right? So I think it’s one of those things where… the unintended consequences of it are far worse than the benefits. If you lose it now, you lose it forever — you can’t suddenly say, well we don’t do that. Yes, well, you did.”

As a science teacher and founder of a school based on scientific principles, Mr Perks is not happy about the way science has been used to justify political decisions during the pandemic.

“I found it very challenging to see the Prime Minister defer to the scientists stood by his side… The decisions you make are decisions for people, and that’s an inherently political decision. You use science to decide things at your peril, because it’s only one way of understanding.”

Thanks to David for sharing his experience — we’ll be watching to see what other schools choose to do.

Join the discussion

  • My sister is a nurse and her day shifts can be up to 12 hours long. During that time she has to wear a special, tight fitting mask – not the lightweight blue ones anymore – and goggles. She says it is making her job virtually impossible to do and causing her to feel anxious and stressed. When on a break, they can remove the mask between sips of tea etc.Breathing in one’s own carbon dioxide over such a long period cannot be healthy.

  • There is a line. Hiding under your bed would be even safer than masking. As an extreme non-masker (I have only worn one a couple times) it would be much less stressful to just give in and wear one.

    I really like how South Dakota handled themselves, the ONLY USA state which never masked of locked down, and their outcomes are as good as anyone’s and their economy booming with added jobs instead of job loss!. The whole Fla/Calif thing, Sweden/EU, Belarus/Germany.

    Breaking ones economy during this age of soft cold war with China is insane. Destroying children’s education (poor students rarely catch up from missed school, all the studies show), destroying people who mortgaged their lives to create their small business, lost jobs, lost starter jobs the young will need after school, mental issues, family issues, missed preventative health, society wide mistrust of others, deaths of despair, increased drink and drugs, and on and on – the drop in lifespan by the reduced income will kill many early – AND at least 1-2 Million children in third world countries will DIE from reduced economic activity by Western lockdowns (UN Study from spring), and the third world people will suffer HUGELY!!!!!!! by this callus act of slowing economic activity globally as they only hang on by their finger nails to their livings at good times. You mask minded killed 10s of third world child for every Western Granny saved!

    Bravo Head Master! You know he took the Much harder path by standing up for decency and letting his charges return to life and learn to lose their irrational fear which has been drummed into them for a year. Time to quit this insanity.

    I just watched Trumps Masterfully done speech, amazing, the only hope for the world, and loved how his audience went much unmasked! They have principals, you know it would be easier to just wear one, but they refuse because it is wrong. Well done Republicans.

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