Only 8% of schools in England have received government-promised air monitors | Schools

More than nine out of 10 schools are still waiting for airflow monitors, which may reduce the spread of Covid-19, despite the education secretary’s promise that a third of units would be delivered by the end of this month.

Only 8% of schools received their allocation of 300,000 CO2 is monitoring that the government has pledged to send to primary and secondary schools in England this quarter, a Twitter poll by a primary school principal revealed last week.

The poll found that about 92% of schools were still waiting for the devices, which will warn if the air quality in a room has become unhealthy and the air circulation is poor.

When criticized earlier this month over the slow roll-out of the program, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi pledged that a third of the monitors would be delivered by November 1 and the remains before the beginning of December.

James Bowen of the National Association of Head Teachers said: “Despite the announcement in August, many schools are still waiting to receive their CO2 monitors. These devices are really important because they will allow schools to determine where ventilation needs to be addressed.

“Since the government has told schools that good ventilation is one of the most important measures they can put in place, these monitors are crucial. Without them, schools rely on their intuition and guesswork. “He called on the government to speed up the delivery of monitors and give schools the funds to improve ventilation in classrooms if a problem is discovered:” When poor ventilation is identified, schools must be afforded. to do something, let it be this building. adaptations or possibly the use of air filters. We expect the government to support schools with this if needed. Without such action, he warned, “education disruptions will only get worse as winter approaches.”

With infection rates rising fastest among students, many principals ask teachers to keep windows and doors open at all times. However, as the weather cools, teachers face a dilemma: forcing children to sit in cold and windy classrooms or closing windows and risking the spread of Covid.

At East Whitby Academy, a North Yorkshire elementary school, principal Simon Smith, who conducted last week’s Twitter poll, feels “massively frustrated” that his CO2 the instructor did not arrive as expected before the end of the semester. “Our school building is 70 years old and the ventilation is not great,” he said.

On the other hand, he added, classrooms “freeze” in winter if teachers keep all doors and windows open, as they did last year: “We are perched on a hill. hill just outside of Whitby so we got a nice sea breeze. . “

He fears that students will once again have to wear coats, gloves and hats in classrooms, as they did last winter before the lockdown. A CO2 instructor would help him make decisions about where children’s learning could take place safely without having to go very far for good ventilation. He said he was not surprised by the results of his poll: “Seems like all the government does is make big promises.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Education said the deployment was on track: “We cannot anticipate the release of official statistics, but it would be inaccurate to report that the number of monitors deployed equals the number of settings. who confirmed having received one. The number of locations delivered is not representative of the total number of monitors delivered.

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