Chesham and Amersham MP Sarah Green has today urged the Government to ensure face-to-face teaching continues by delivering essential ventilation equipment to schools. She also called on Ministers to publish the results of a pilot scheme designed to test the effectiveness of air purifiers in reducing the spread of Coronavirus in schools.
Speaking during an Urgent Question to the Secretary of State for Education on Government preparations for school openings in January, Green said:
‘Our children cannot afford for schools to close again or to miss more face-to-face teaching through absence. Evidence shows, as has been previously mentioned, that ventilation equipment in schools reduces airborne risk of coronavirus by up to 70%. Other countries have already rolled out ventilation equipment to their schools and are seeing the benefits. When can we expect the results of the Bradford pilot scheme to be published? And when can schools expect ventilation equipment to be delivered – because it’s needed now.’
Responding for the Government, Skills Minister Alex Burghart said:
‘We take ventilation and quality of air extremely seriously, and that’s why we have achieved our public commitment of delivering 300,000 CO2 monitors over the Autumn term, in fact we have excelled our target. We are absolutely clear that ventilation is one of the 4 pillars that will help us best maintain school in person.’
Following the exchange, Green commented:
‘Schools are already having to contend with rising energy bills and these costs will only increase further if the best they can do to ventilate buildings in the middle of winter is to open all the windows’