Coronavirus: government commits £25m to provide all state schools with CO2 monitors
Rollout of 300,000 devices aims to help reduce spread of Covid-19 by encouraging better ventilation
Credit: Adityamanutd/CC BY-SA 3.0
The government has committed £25m to provide all state schools across England with carbon dioxide monitors.
The devices are intended to allow staff to identify classrooms where ventilation is poor. Improving airflow in these areas, or moving lessons to better-ventilated rooms, could help to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the government hopes.
The units can be moved between rooms, allowing schools – and other providers of state-funded education, who will also receive monitors – to assess their whole estate of buildings and rooms.
About 300,000 monitors will be rolled out in total, with most of these being deployed during the autumn term, according to the Department for Education. Special schools will be “prioritised to receive their full allocation from September, given their higher-than-average numbers of vulnerable pupils”.
All schools and colleges are expected to “receive at least partial allocations during the autumn term”, the DfE said, adding that it would also provide guidance for institutions on how to use the technology.
Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Providing all schools with CO2 monitors will help them make sure they have the right balance of measures in place, minimising any potential disruption to education and allowing them to focus on world class lessons and catch up for the children who need it. By keeping up simple measures such as ventilation and testing, young people can now enjoy more freedom at school and college.”
Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid added: “We are all enjoying the return to a more normal way of life and getting our children back into school is a really important part of that process. We want to ensure schools are both safe and comfortable for students and staff – and have been clear that good ventilation is crucial.”
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