• Quick Order
  • Wishlists
  • 0
    £0.00 ex VAT
Back
Menu
Close
early years essentials
Shop everything you need for your early years setting with our handpicked collection of essentials.
Shop now
early years new in
Refresh your early years settings with 100s of new and exciting early years products to choose from.
Shop now
Little Learners banner
Subscribe to Little Learners, our free early years magazine packed full of ideas and inspiration to help your setting flourish.
Subscribe now
YPO range
Switch and save with our YPO range, with hundreds of products to choose from.
Shop now
YPO cosy collection
We're excited to be working in partnership with Cosy, a renowned supplier of high quality and imaginative products. Shop the full collection!
Shop now
  • Animated image for Facilities Management Facilities Management

    Essential services to help keep your school running smoothly.

  • Ingredients and cooking pans Food and Catering

    Everything you need for your school meals and catering requirements.

  • person working at a desk Furniture

    Helping you create inspiring spaces.

  • Computer screen and printer ICT

    Technology and communications to help you stay connected and current.

  • certificate and books Professional Services

    Supporting your people and professional services.

  • School bus Transport

    Help get your students from A to B.

  • light bulb Utilities

    Review your energy contracts to help save money.

school exercise books varied colours
Discover our complete range of exercise books.
Shop all
Blue school exercise book with ruled pages
Ruled paper exercise books for a range of subjects.
Shop ruled
Red school exercise book with squared paper
Squared paper exercise books, perfect for maths.
Shop squared
Always in stock essentials
Explore our large range of always available products and get what you need, when you need it.
Shop now
Making life easier for MATs
Explore the benefits YPO can provide to Academies and Multi Academy Trusts across the country.
Find out more
YPO range
Switch and save with our YPO range, with hundreds of products to choose from.
Shop now
YPO cosy collection
We're excited to be working in partnership with Cosy, a renowned supplier of high quality and imaginative products. Shop the full collection!
Shop now
  • Animated image for Facilities Management Facilities Management

    Essential services to help keep your school running smoothly.

  • Ingredients and cooking pans Food and Catering

    Everything you need for your school meals and catering requirements.

  • person working at a desk Furniture

    Helping you create inspiring spaces.

  • Computer screen and printer ICT

    Technology and communications to help you stay connected and current.

  • certificate and books Professional Services

    Supporting your people and professional services.

  • School bus Transport

    Help get your students from A to B.

  • light bulb Utilities

    Review your energy contracts to help save money.

school exercise books varied colours
Discover our complete range of exercise books.
Shop all
Blue school exercise book with ruled pages
Ruled paper exercise books for a range of subjects.
Shop ruled
Red school exercise book with squared paper
Squared paper exercise books, perfect for maths.
Shop squared
Always in stock essentials
Explore our large range of always available products and get what you need, when you need it.
Shop now
Making life easier for MATs
Explore the benefits YPO can provide to Academies and Multi Academy Trusts across the country.
Find out more
YPO range
Switch and save with our YPO range, with hundreds of products to choose from.
Shop now
  • Construction worker Buildings and Construction

    Our expert team can help with building, construction, repairs and alterations. Browse our frameworks.

  • Meeting Corporate and Financial Services

    Help to increase efficiencies and provide better support to your people.

  • Energy frameworks YPO Energy

    Find ways to reduce your energy consumption with our energy team.

  • Cleaning equipment Facilities and Waste Management

    Providing safe and cost effective working environments.

  • Fleet of white vans Fleet

    Whether you're looking for fleet hire or purchase, speak to our specialist team.

  • food and catering worker cooking Food and Catering

    Ordering food and catering couldn't be simpler with our UK Food Deal.

  • food and catering worker cooking Furniture

    Create environments that are tailored to your unique needs.

  • fleet and highways worker Highways

    Providing specialist industry knowledge to help meet your needs.

  • Corporate meeting HR and People

    Our team are here to help with all of your recruitment and training.

  • Woman using technology Technology and Communication

    We can help you source cost-effective solutions with a range of frameworks.

  • Construction worker Buildings and Construction

    Our expert team can help with building, construction, repairs and alterations. Browse our frameworks.

  • Meeting Corporate and Financial Services

    Help to increase efficiencies and provide better support to your people.

  • Blue light Emergency Services

    A dedicated team set up to support you and offer tailored frameworks.

  • Energy frameworks YPO Energy

    Find ways to reduce your energy consumption with our energy team.

  • Cleaning equipment Facilities and Waste Management

    Providing safe and cost effective working environments.

  • Fleet of white vans Fleet

    Whether you're looking for fleet hire or purchase, speak to our specialist team.

  • food and catering worker cooking Food and Catering

    Ordering food and catering couldn't be simpler with our UK Food Deal.

  • food and catering worker cooking Furniture

    Create environments that are tailored to your unique needs.

  • health and social care workers Health and Social Care

    Help to support independent living by sourcing aids and equipment.

  • fleet and highways worker Highways

    Providing specialist industry knowledge to help meet your needs.

  • Corporate meeting HR and People

    Our team are here to help with all of your recruitment and training.

  • Woman using technology Technology and Communication

    We can help you source cost-effective solutions with a range of frameworks.

net zero 2023
To provide current perspective, expertise and guidance on the role of procurement in meeting net zero targets, public sector buying organisation YPO and local public sector innovation partnership iNetwork have come together again to host a series of free online webinars. Watch the series here.
Watch now
Energy hub
We know that securing energy contracts can be a complex and difficult process, but we are here to help you. Explore our Energy Hub to find help and guidance, latest updates and more.
Explore now
Price freeze
Discover prices frozen on 50 school essentials, with prices guaranteed until 2025. Get stocked up on your classroom essentials for less, and help support the NSPCC with every purchase!
Shop now
CLEAN24
Get ready for your summer clean with our special offers on cleaning essentials and more. Deals must end Friday 28 June. Use code CLEAN24 to save!
Shop now
1000s of products dropped and locked until 2025
Discover 1000s of products dropped and locked until 2025! Shop now!
Shop now
Exam season essentials
Take advantage of our great value folding desks and exam essentials to see you through exam season and beyond.
Shop now
New-In-Updated
Kit out your classroom and shop 100s of new products at great value prices.
Shop now
Clearance-Banner-Updated-2
Once they're gone... they're gone! Shop clearance here and save on a range of essentials.
Shop now
Banner
Make your budget go further with our collection of classpacks, and save on a range of classroom essentials.
Shop now
YPO range
Switch and save with our YPO range, with hundreds of products to choose from.
Shop now
Products
Close
Frameworks
Close
  • Construction worker Buildings and Construction

    Our expert team can help with building, construction, repairs and alterations. Browse our frameworks.

  • Meeting Corporate and Financial Services

    Help to increase efficiencies and provide better support to your people.

  • Blue light Emergency Services

    A dedicated team set up to support you and offer tailored frameworks.

  • Energy frameworks YPO Energy

    Find ways to reduce your energy consumption with our energy team.

  • Cleaning equipment Facilities and Waste Management

    Providing safe and cost effective working environments.

  • Fleet of white vans Fleet

    Whether you're looking for fleet hire or purchase, speak to our specialist team.

  • food and catering worker cooking Food and Catering

    Ordering food and catering couldn't be simpler with our UK Food Deal.

  • food and catering worker cooking Furniture

    Create environments that are tailored to your unique needs.

  • health and social care workers Health and Social Care

    Help to support independent living by sourcing aids and equipment.

  • fleet and highways worker Highways

    Providing specialist industry knowledge to help meet your needs.

  • Corporate meeting HR and People

    Our team are here to help with all of your recruitment and training.

  • Woman using technology Technology and Communication

    We can help you source cost-effective solutions with a range of frameworks.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) has become high in demand for private businesses, public sector organisations and even the individual person, wearing a mask is now a part of our daily routine and is a simple and easy solution to preventing the spread of infection and viruses.

For the majority of the general public wearing face masks is an essential requirement when entering environments where social distancing is harder. This has resulted in a wide variety of face masks and coverings being manufactured, from surgical masks to cloth face coverings.

High street retailers are designing fashionable cloth masks and cotton masks, full customer-contact business such as hairdressers and barbers are employing face shields and even individuals with health restrictions are wearing PPE in some suitable way. With so many types of masks available, do you know which is the most preventative? What a face covering does? Or when it is appropriate to wear certain face coverings?

How do face coverings work?

According to WHO (2020), Coronavirus is primarily spread via respiratory droplets in the air from coughs or sneezes. A face mask works by blocking these droplets from entering the air, as well as blocking other smaller particles called aerosols that can also pass the virus, these occur when people talk or exhale.

This is why the most important initial factor in effectively wearing a face mask is ensuring that it fits comfortably to your face and covers both the mouth and nose.

TIP: A trick to check that your face mask is serving its duty is to try and blow out a candle whilst wearing your mask, a good mask should prevent you from extinguishing the flame and will be a sufficient barrier.

Choosing the right type of masks

It comes as no shock that there are some materials that are better at filtering, there are limits on where certain masks can be worn as well as recommended coverings that offer the most benefits both in a healthcare setting and for the general public. Here's our overview:

Surgical masks

Surgical masks, also known as fluid resistant surgical masks (FRSM) are one of the most popular types of masks we've seen during the pandemic. 

surgical face mask

Material: Typically a combination of papers and plastics

Benefit: Designed specifically to block large particles/droplets, these masks are FDA approved and can ensure a clean room is not contaminated by viruses, because the mask can be easily disposed of after a single-use avoiding any further contamination. They are especially effective in protecting those around you if you are a carrier of the virus.

Most suitable for: This type of mask is ideal to be worn in hospitals, by doctors and other healthcare workers, however they can be used by the general public too.

Shop surgical masks with us!

Cloth masks

There are multiple variations of cloth masks at present and some are more effective than others, cloth masks that are made up of more than two layers, also known as a hybrid mask, are another popular variation of face covering.

cloth face mask

Material: Essential that they are made from multiple layers of tightly woven cloth such as cotton

Benefit: The multiple layers in this mask increase the effectiveness of blocking small aerosol particles as well as large droplets. The thicker the hybrid mask the greater the protective barrier they are. These are reusable and can be machine washed for continuous prevention against bacteria and viruses.

Most suitable for: This type of mask is ideal to be worn by the general public in both indoor and outdoor settings and you can make your own at home.

Here's a helpful guide to making your own mask.

N95 masks

The N95 mask is one that you will only come across in a healthcare setting. Anyone undergoing the wear of this mask will have taken a detailed test to ensure that the mask is fitted exactly and specifically to the wearer.

Material: Synthetic plastic fibres

Benefit: They are 99.9% effective at blocking large droplets as well as 95% effective at filtering small aerosols, which is considerably higher than the surgical mask this is why their use is restricted to only healthcare and first response situations.

Most suitable for: Medical professionals dealing directly with patients.

Cotton/silk mask

Single-layer masks are what we commonly see on the high street and in other retailers.

Material: They are typically made from one individual layer of cotton or silk, but can be made of other fabrics too.

Benefit: The resources to manufacture these masks are not scarce, therefore they are easy to access, especially if you find yourself in a circumstance where you've lost or forgotten your mask. They still offer some protection against large droplets but the more layers of fabric increases the protection. Using a scarf and/or bandana offers the same level of protection and single layer masks and are therefore only expected to be used in cases where there are no other options.

Most suitable for: Can be worn by anyone but only in the restricted environments, primarily outdoors.

Filter/Valve mask

It's important to note that there are also face masks with a built-in valve or filtering featuring that is used to help the wearer to breathe. However in doing so this also dramatically reduces the effectiveness of the prevention of spread of COVID-19 by creating an air leak in the mask.

Most suitable for: This mask should be avoided for the purpose of preventing infection and virus spread.

Staying safe

There are a number of other restrictions and guidance in place to ensure the safety of all during the pandemic. Here are some further helpful links to ensure you're doing everything you can to protect those in your environment:

YPO 50
Author

The YPO Team

YPO supplies products and services to a wide range of customers including schools, local authorities, charities, emergency services, public sector and other businesses such as nurseries and care homes. YPO are 100% publicly owned, by 13 local authorities, which means the profits made are returned to public sector customers, delivering even better value for money.