A charity for deaf children has called for clear face coverings to be used to aid those with hearing impairments
A charity for deaf people has raised concerns about face masks being used in schools and colleges.
The National Deaf Children's Society has said although public health is a priority, the needs of those with hearing impairments must be considered when decisions are being made.
Many deaf people are not able to understand those wearing face masks, and the charity has called for clear face coverings to be used to assist lip reading.
Scotland announced this week that high school pupils must wear masks in communal areas from next week, and the University and College Union (UCU) has called for students and staff to wear masks indoors at universities at all times.
Ian Noon, chief policy advisor at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “Face masks in education would have serious consequences for the UK’s 50,000 deaf children. For many, there may be little benefit in even attending school or college because they won’t understand their teachers and classmates, with loneliness and isolation a tragic result.
“Public health must always be the priority, so if face masks are introduced, schools and colleges must be ready to meet deaf pupils’ needs by investing in clear face masks, making every reasonable adjustment possible and urgently discussing the best way forward with specialist teachers, parents and deaf pupils themselves.
“Education is a right, not a privilege, and this does not change because you’re deaf.”