To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to help ensure that schools in (a) County Durham and (b) across England are adequately ventilated to limit the spread of covid-19 ahead of the 2021-22 academic year.
19 July 2021
The Department’s guidance states that, when a school or college is in operation, it is important to ensure that it is well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained. This can be achieved by a variety of measures including using mechanical ventilation systems and/or natural ventilation, such as opening windows. In all cases, actions should be taken to encourage fresh air into the building, whilst striking a balance with thermal comfort. This guidance applies to all schools in England.
The Department continues to review the ventilation requirements set out in its guidance, including considering whether monitoring carbon dioxide (CO2) levels would be appropriate, and is working with Public Health England and ventilation experts on a pilot project to measure CO2 levels in typical classrooms.
The Department continues to keep the protective measures under review based on the latest scientific evidence and advice as this continues to evolve.
The guidance for schools can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.