Schools: Ventilation

Department for Education written question – answered on 20th September 2021.

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Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker Conservative, Wycombe

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to improve ventilation in schools to inhibit the spread of covid-19.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

On 21 August, the department announced that carbon dioxide monitors will be provided to all state-funded nurseries, schools, and colleges from September. Backed by a £25 million government investment, the new monitors will enable staff to act quickly where ventilation is poor and provide reassurance that existing ventilation measures are working.

The programme will provide nurseries, schools, and colleges with sufficient monitors to take representative readings from across the indoor spaces in their estate, assessing all spaces in a relatively short space of time. On 6 September, the department also provided new information to settings on how to use CO2 monitors to better manage ventilation.

The department has committed to supplying around 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors across England in the Autumn term. From 6 September, the department started to despatch carbon dioxide monitors to special schools and alternative provision, who have been prioritised to receive their full allocation given their higher-than-average numbers of vulnerable pupils.

The government has also launched a trial of air purifiers in 30 schools in Bradford, which is designed to assess the technology in schools and whether they could reduce the risk of transmission.

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