Schools in England say government not providing enough air purifiers

Teachers accuse ministers of failing to act after union poll finds third of classrooms monitored have poor ventilation

A handful of monitors to measure air quality in the classrooms of a large Midlands secondary school was nowhere near enough to go round, but sufficient to detect a problem. “Readings in some rooms were well over the suggested clean air limit of 800ppm,” said one teacher. “We asked for action to be taken but nothing was done and now the monitors have been taken away.”

The teacher is not alone in his concern over poor air quality, which increases the risk of Covid infection, in schools. Aware of the link, the government sent out to schools in England 350,000 monitors to check the quantity of CO2 in the air, measured in ppm (parts per million), mainly from exhaled breath. But it is providing only 8,000 air purifiers for classrooms.

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