A Chislehurst boarding school has been slammed for implementing a rule where children who are exempt from wearing masks must wear a yellow badge.

Farringtons School has been accused of ignoring “historic connotations” over “deeply inappropriate” yellow badges for which Jewish people were forced to display in Nazi-occupied Europe.

The £34,050-a-year private school headmaster David Jackson sent a letter to parents and guardians to explain his badge decision saying “exempt students should wear a yellow badge” and other students should wear a mask “until further notice”.

The school has since been widely criticised, but the Telegraph reported that co-founder of parent campaign group UsForThem Molly Kingsley said that this is not an “isolated case”.

Ms Kingsley told the Telegraph: “Asking children to wear some form of exemption marker has been quite common in schools and unbelievably this specific example of asking them to wear a yellow badge is not in isolation.”

She said the historic connotations of yellow badges “should not need explaining” and said it was “deeply inappropriate” to ask face-mask-exempt children to wear them.

Ms Kingsley also warned asking students to identify themselves as exempt from wearing a face covering could “stigmatise” them even more.

The school said the badge was chosen after looking at government advice about exemption from face-covering badges and explained that it is “horrified” that an offensive comparison has been made.

A spokesman for the school told the Telegraph: “The decision to re-introduce masks was taken following Public Health England advice in response to a spike in cases after the October half-term holiday.

“Throughout the pandemic, all of our actions have been aimed at keeping the whole school community safe.

“The rationale for introducing a badge for mask exempt pupils is so that they are not repeatedly challenged about not wearing a mask.

“On walking down a corridor, a teacher can immediately see that a mask is not required and therefore the wearing of a badge was intended to make it easier for those pupils.

“The badge was chosen after looking at the government advice about exemption from face-covering badges.

“This has a yellow circle and so we went for a yellow badge rather than producing a specially designed one.

“No offence was intended and we are horrified that any such parallel should be drawn.”

The full initial letter from Mr Jackson said: “In light of the increase in the number of cases, we have also decided to re-introduce the compulsory wearing of face masks in classrooms and other confined areas within the senior school, such as corridors... until further notice.

“Those pupils who were exempt from wearing a mask last academic year will once again be exempt and should wear a yellow badge to indicate this.”

Secondary schools across the country were asked earlier this month to make masks compulsory in communal areas, as well as the return of routine onsite rapid testing for pupils.

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