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Coronavirus – information for professionals from NDCS – updated 3rd November

Posted in News

NDCS has updated its education blog today to reflect the new guidance in Scotland around face coverings in classrooms. In short, face coverings must now be worn by senior secondary-aged pupils and teachers/staff in classrooms in schools in areas where the Scottish Covid Protection Level has been set at level 3 or 4. Scottish Government guidance has highlighted the need to consider the impact on deaf students and to make necessary reasonable adjustments.


As colleagues will know, there will be a national lockdown in England from Thursday but that education settings will be expected to remain open. It’s possible that new guidance will be issued by DfE before Thursday. In the meantime though, our understanding is that education settings should operate as they are currently doing. Our advice on this, also covered in the above blog, remains unchanged.

Key messages that NDCS will continue to emphasise include:

  • Whilst these are challenging times for everyone, it is important that all necessary reasonable adjustments are made to support deaf children. It will be important for schools to work closely with the deaf child, family and Teacher of the Deaf to identify the necessary reasonable adjustments, taking into account the individual needs of deaf children.
  • Peripatetic Teachers of the Deaf can continue to visit schools to provide interventions – see open letter from DfE Minister, Vicky Ford, from the 2nd September. NDCS believes it is important that there are no ‘blanket policies’ by schools or services in terms of not allowing any external visitors or visits, as this falls foul of the legal principle that the needs of deaf children should be considered and taken into account on an individual basis.
  • Where coronavirus means that children are unable to attend school (for example, because they’re isolating or because the school is closed), the school should be providing remote teaching. This is now a requirement in England under the Temporary Continuity Direction. Teachers of the Deaf will obviously have a key role to play in ensuring any remote teaching for deaf children is accessible and appropriate. We have recently updated a separate checklist blog for teachers on this.

On home visits, our advice also remains unchanged, as set out in a separate coronavirus blog on family support. The key point is that the individual needs of the family should be considered in any decisions around face-to-face support.