Pupils caught ‘joke’ coughing could be sent home from school

Pupils who decide its amusing to pretend to cough or sneeze could find themselves being sent home from school.

At least two schools have warned students they will be excluded if they cough or sneeze deliberately at someone else.

Jerome Scafe, an associate principal at Ark Alexandra Academy in Hastings, East Sussex, sent a letter to parents outlining ‘coronavirus red lines’ to prevent the spread of the infection.

He wrote: ‘The following behaviours may result in a fixed-term exclusion: deliberate or malicious coughs/sneezes at any point; humorous, inappropriate comments or statements related to the coronavirus; purposeful physical contact with any other person; repeated failure to follow instructions within an appropriate time frame resulting in the student needing to be removed from lesson.’

Byron Academy in Acton, West London, has also banned ‘coughing deliberately on another person’. The offence was previously deemed ‘anti-social’ but is now being viewed as ‘potentially extremely serious’. The school said ‘parents should expect that their child may be excluded’ if they did not follow instructions.