Unions make call for urgent action on ventilation in schools

Education unions have written to Gavin Williamson urging the government to take firm action to improve ventilation in schools to reduce further coronavirus disruption.

The unions - NEU, Unison, NASUWT, ASCL, NAHT, GMB and Unite – say proper measures to increase airflow in time for the start of the next academic year will make a difference to health and limit the damage to learning for pupils.

In their letter they say ‘the benefits of ventilation in the control of airborne diseases are already well understood and accepted’. They point to carbon dioxide monitors – to ensure air is flowing adequately – and micro filters for removing harmful particles as measures that will make a significant difference and should be properly funded.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Government action on ventilation in schools and colleges amounts to little more than recommending that windows are kept open, which is not sustainable in providing a comfortable learning environment in the depths of a British winter. If the government is serious about bringing to an end the educational disruption of the past 18 months then it must provide funding for high-quality ventilation systems as a matter of urgency.”

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