The King’s School in Parramatta has gone against the grain and ignored the public health order by not making mask wearing compulsory.
NSW Education and NSW Health developed back-to-school guidelines that stated high school students. This policy has been followed by public and Catholic schools across the state.
Whilst independent schools do not have to comply with the mandate, the vast majority of independent schools are following the advice of NSW Health and Education. However, King’s told parents that secondary students were “not required” to wear them.
In a letter sent to parents on Friday 22 October, headmaster Tony George said the school would follow its own guidelines that suited its academic, co-curricular and community programs.
“The NSW Education Department guidelines are primarily intended for NSW public schools” he said. “The King’s School seriously considers all the advice and guidelines provided [by NSW health].”
The decision by King’s has been met with backlash, particularly from infectious disease paediatrician Professor Robert Booy. “It’s not difficult for a teenager to wear a mask” he said.
A spokeswoman for NSW Health said masks were strongly recommended to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. “Wearing a mask makes it unlikely a fully vaccinated student will be deemed a close contact” the spokeswoman said.