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is legislation the answer to veils in schools?

18 September 2013

The debate over wearing veils in the school context has been raised again with a clear statement that wearing a veil is not beneficial in the school context as it provides a barrier to learning as teachers need to see facial expressions in order to gauge the learning experience. The argument follows on wider concerns regarding the wearing of veils in other circumstances such as criminal proceedings. Whilst there are calls for legislation, the report suggests such a move is not necessary as the current guidance led-framework is fit for purpose.

Schools must take account of religious and other relevant considerations when determining a uniform policy and should generally aim for a uniform that is as inclusive as possible for the community that the school serves. This requires proper consultation with all relevant stakeholders and listening to responses before making a final decision. Legislation would not add anything to this situation; would not be able to adequately cover all situations and may and cause more problems than it solves.

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