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Davina McCall and Nick Knowles back petition calling for clear masks in schools

Tom Horton, PA
·2-min read

Davina McCall and Nick Knowles have backed a campaign for schools to provide clear face masks in schools to help deaf pupils understand their teachers and classmates.

The television presenters both shared a petition on social media calling for the masks to be made available.

The campaign aims to ensure children with hearing difficulties can take part in lessons.

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The petition had been posted by the National Deaf Children’s Society charity on social media.

Knowles said: “This is really important and I would urge teachers (who I understand have a lot on their plates) and Govt to think about clear masks if you have deaf children in classes – we must take everyone with us when we go forward.”

McCall urged her Twitter followers to watch and share a video promoting the petition.

In the National Deaf Children’s Society clip a school pupil named Daniel explains why face masks present a problem for those with hearing difficulties.

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“It’s going to be so difficult when we go back to school in March as we will be wearing masks all day, including during time in class,” he said.

“This is a big issue because of how it will prevent communication.

“For example, working with other students during teachers’ presentations or just chatting, it is going to be a huge problem to understand other people as we won’t be able to see lip reading and facial expressions.”

He added: “Our education will suffer and it’s going to make it so hard for our social lives.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Our guidance for when pupils return to school does say that secondary school age pupils and their teachers should wear masks where possible but also that teachers should continue to be sensitive to the additional needs of their students, such as deafness, in deciding whether it is appropriate to wear a face covering.”