Student banned from wearing niqab in German school

A German court has banned a student from wearing her full niqab in classes after her school said it hindered her educational development.

The 18-year-old student of the Sophie Scholl Evening Gymnasium in Osnabrück had tried to sue the school after she was told she could not wear the religious garment which leaves the body and face concealed except for the eyes.

But she lost the case after it was transferred to an administrative court and she failed to turn up to make her case because of huge media attention.

The ruling comes after German ministers discussed the possible prohibition of the burqa, similar to the niqab but with a mesh over the eyes, over concerns the full face veil was "contrary to integration".

But some are concerned a ban would violate Germany's religious freedom laws.

In the latest ruling, the school argued that it could not ensure the educational development of the student, who was enrolled at the school in April, and the niqab was also problematic for identifying the student.

It dismissed the student's proposal that a female staff member can lift the veil to identify the student, arguing that it also caused difficulties with communication.

It said that communication between teachers and students relied "not only on the spoken word, but also on non-verbal elements and body language."