Kids are being banned from singing Happy Birthday in schools over fears it will spread Covid
KIDS are being banned from singing Happy Birthday in schools over fears it will spread Covid.
Just months after the PM told the nation to sing Happy Birthday twice while washing their hands, teachers are now telling pupils they must simply say the words rather than sing them.
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Kids are being banned from singing Happy Birthday in schools over fears it will spread Covid[/caption]
Some schools are allowing the class to hum the tune or clap along to it so their mouths remain closed.
But teachers at other schools have resorted to simply playing YouTube videos of people singing happy birthday while the class sits in silence.
Pupils are also being forced to sit shivering in freezing cold classrooms because government guidelines insist on keeping windows open to reduce transmission.
Parents have complained of their children coming home crying, with blue skin and chattering teeth after spending all day in draughty rooms.
Many even have to wear wet PE kits for hours during lessons because Covid rules mean they are not allowed to get changed while at school, according to a mass survey by parent campaign group UsForThem.
Some head teachers are now encouraging children to put on extra layers to keep warm in class – but others say coats cannot be worn indoors.
Schools have also banned parents sending in birthday cakes to prevent transmission of the virus.
Scientists have found that singing can leave aerosol particles and droplets in the surrounding air, meaning infectious individuals risk spreading the virus when they open their mouths.
Singing has been banned in pubs and churches but has not been outlawed in schools.
But parent campaign group UsForThem has found schools across the country have imposed a ban themselves – even on birthdays.
Mother-of-two Christine Brett, from Cambridge, said last night: “A few months children were encouraged to sing happy birthday while washing their hands.
“Now even this is banned along with bringing in sweets to share with their friends and classmates.
“Instead of being able to enjoy their special day happily, these precious memories will no longer be made and the lasting impact this crisis will have on children’s wellbeing will be the fear that we are instilling into them.”
The Department for Education said last night that it was down to individual schools to decide if children could sing to classmates or not.
Its guidance says safety measures should be put in place for music lessons, because of the risk of transmission of covid when large groups sing in a confined space.
The rules state: “Playing instruments and singing in groups should take place outdoors wherever possible. If indoors, consider limiting the numbers in relation to the space.
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“Singing, wind and brass playing should not take place in larger groups such as choirs and ensembles, or assemblies unless significant space, natural airflow (at least 10l/s/person for all present, including audiences) and strict social distancing and mitigation as described below can be maintained.”
Meanwhile official guidance published by the Department for Education before term started told schools it was “important to ensure good ventilation and maximising this wherever possible, for example, opening windows and propping open doors”.
But parents across the country say the rules are being imposed without any thought for the young children who now have to sit in the same cold classroom for six hours a day.
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