By Richard Fraser, Editor
The widespread use of face coverings in education settings has caused difficulties for some deaf students and their teachers and support staff.
Over the past year, Voice Community has raised its concerns about the availability of suitable transparent face coverings to protect members without disadvantaging the children.
There are suppliers of suitable face coverings, so do raise the issue with your SENCO and head teacher if you feel this is something that is necessary for you.
Voice Community's view on face coverings:
Voice Community believes that, should you want to wear a mask, or deem it necessary in your place of work, then you should not be prohibited from wearing one.
Members should consider carefully the needs of children when making a decision on wearing a mask in the workplace and should consider whether other forms of PPE would be more appropriate – especially for those children who rely on lip reading such as the deaf and hearing impaired.
Recent surveys highlighted that wearing a face covering makes many of you feel safer in the classroom, so we have advised the DfE that we would like face coverings to remain in use until the evidence indicates they are no longer needed, and in line with other indoor activities, such as shopping.