Facemasks and Pupils With Additional Support Needs

The SNP Government guidance remains that facemasks should be worn at all times by staff and young people in secondary schools. Schools have been told to carefully consider the impact of using facemasks with specific pupils with additional support needs and should explore reasonable adjustments. 

This guidance on facemasks and pupils with additional support needs is vague, and fails to realise facemasks have a huge impact on all young learners, but especially those with additional support needs. Communication for some of these pupils relies in part on being able to see someone’s face clearly.

Throughout the pandemic, the Scottish Conservatives have fought to ensure that young people’s education and well-being is protected. We have continuously called for facemasks to no longer be mandatory in the classroom. 

The Scottish Conservatives recognise that facemasks put pupils with additional support needs at a disadvantage, especially in practical subjects such as Biology and Chemistry. Struggling with communication can be extremely isolating and our pupils have already been through enough.

The Scottish Conservatives believe that Nicola Sturgeon should end this restriction on children immediately