To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that schools can properly ventilate classrooms in the winter months during the covid-19 outbreak.
14 September 2020
On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.
The above guidance sets out a system of controls which provide a framework for school leaders to put in place a range of proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. Measures include minimising contacts between groups and maintaining distance where possible, encouraging regular handwashing, and enhanced cleaning.
This includes advice that once the school is in operation, it is important to ensure good ventilation and maximise this wherever possible, for example, by opening windows and propping open doors, as long as they are not fire doors, where safe to do so (bearing in mind safeguarding in particular). Arrangements for ventilation will vary in each setting based on individual circumstances.
Advice on this can be found in Health and Safety Executive guidance on air conditioning and ventilation during the COVID-19 outbreak available at https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation.htm.