SOUTHEND Council has written to parents to ask them to wear masks on the school run.

In a letter to parents via their school last week, parents are encouraged to:

  • Wear a face covering (unless exempt) when dropping and picking up children from school
  • Keep one metre distance from others if you are wearing a face covering (two metres if not)
  • Leave the school vicinity as soon as possible, whilst maintaining the rule of six.

A small number of face masks have been given to each school to hand out to those parents who are able to wear one, but forgot to bring theirs.

Councillor Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “We felt there was a need to write the letter due to the number of parents who are standing very close together while dropping off or collecting their children.

"Although parents are outdoors when they do this, and we know that it can be very hard to socially distance at the school gates, there is still a risk of transmission outdoors that can be reduced greatly by wearing a face covering.

“Schools have worked incredibly hard to maintain the safety of the classroom with bubbles, hand sanitiser, staggered start and finish times, and a range of other measures depending on their individual circumstances.

“But now we need the help of parents. We are asking those who are able to, to please wear face coverings during the school run and keep at least one metre apart from others too and two metres if you are not wearing a covering. Please also leave the school area as soon as possible, maintaining the rule of six.

“I am sure many parents are already doing this and I know it is difficult. But for the handful of parents who aren’t already doing so, please do your bit for the community and wear a mask if you are not exempt and keep up the social distancing. This will help to reduce the risk of transmission and help prevent the spread of Coronavirus in our community.”


The letter in full:


Dear Parent/ Carer,

In recent weeks we have seen a rise in confirmed cases across the country, across Essex and across Southend-on-Sea. Despite a small reduction in testing we continue to see a rise with the infection rate doubling in the first 10 days in October. Although we are doing everything we can to slow this rise in cases locally, we must remember that Coronavirus is still with us and we must continue to do our bit to help and support our community efforts by following public health guidance.

It is extremely important that we all maintain social distancing by keeping at least two metres from others, maintain good hand-washing, wear face coverings and follow the ‘rule of six.’ Even more importantly, we urge parents to socially distance at the school gates and young people not to congregate in groups before and after school too. I know this is difficult but please do try and help our communities to stay safe.

Please help us to minimise transmission -

When you are waiting for your child(ren) to go into school or be collected we ask that you wear a face covering

Ensure you observe social distancing (1 metre ‘plus’) whilst waiting for your child(ren)

Please move away from the school premises as quickly as you can remembering to maintain the ‘rule of six’.

We are working hard to minimise chances of COVID being transmitted and we need your help and support to ensure our communities are as safe as they can be.


Yours sincerely,



Brin Martin                                                                    Krishna Ramkhelawon

Director of Education and Early Years                            Director of Public Health