Face masks are set to stay in the classroom as schools and councils prepare to defy government guidance, The Telegraph has found. Bury, Bolton and Bedford are among the councils advising that schoolchildren should continue to wear masks, despite Boris Johnson announcing that this is no longer required from Monday. The country’s largest teaching union has written to headteachers, chief executives of multi-academy trusts and council chiefs urging them to “actively encourage” pupils to wear masks in lessons. Parent campaign group UsForThem said it had received reports from hundreds of parents that their children’s schools will continue to require the wearing of masks next week. “We are shocked to see how many schools and councils are ignoring the Government’s guidance,” said Molly Kingsley, the co-founder of UsForThem. “Parents are devastated about this – it is really hard to overstate their anger." This week, Bury and Bolton councils wrote to parents explaining that schools have been asked to “retain the use of face coverings, as per the current arrangements, until further notice”. Both councils said it would be “irresponsible” to wait until there were higher levels of new Covid variants before taking action.