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  1. Call for compulsory face masks in schools

    BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester

    Mask wearing should be compulsory in schools over the winter months "this year and beyond", according to a Worcester head teacher.

    Gareth Doodes is in charge of 1,400 pupils and 350 staff at the King's School and has written to schools minister and local MP Robin Walker to ask him to back the move.

    He said, with Covid cases continuing to rise in schools, head teachers across England were concerned about the next few weeks.

    Pupil wearing a mask

    The rate of new infections in Worcester rose by 20% to 399 per 100,000 people in the seven days up to 19 October.

    However, among 10 to 14-year-olds the rate stood at 1,429.

    "Heads are desperately concerned the coming months will place great pressures on our schools which will be stretched due to limited immunity among pupils and this will in turn increase cases among teachers and pupils," Mr Doodes said.

    Face coverings are no longer compulsory in schools in England but the government is reserving the right to reintroduce them under its winter plan.

    At the weekend, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the data did not currently suggest "immediately moving to Plan B".

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