The Scottish Government requires all schools to leave windows open in an attempt to stop the transmission of Covid. This has led to teachers and pupils sitting in freezing classrooms and needing to wear winter coats to stay warm, with opposition MSPs demanding that the Government install indoor ventilation as an alternative. The Times has the story.
Children are being forced to wear overcoats and blankets in bitterly cold classrooms because of a Government edict to keep windows open to limit the transmission of Covid.
One teacher said that temperatures plummeted to 11C, potentially putting children at risk of asthma attacks and other conditions linked to the cold.
The Scottish Government advises schools to strike a balance between ventilating classrooms to clear the air of the Covid while keeping room temperature above 17C.
Nuzhat Uthmani, a Teacher at Lorne Street Primary School in Glasgow and a member of the Educational Institute of Scotland teaching union, said: “I had my jacket on after lunchtime for the whole afternoon, along with my 30 pupils. We were so cold.”
Kerry Fraser, an English Teacher at Perth High School, said her pupils had complained of the cold. She added: “I checked the CO2 monitor and it was 11.2 degrees. I had to close all the windows and watch the monitor go red. I’ve been wearing a blanket in class.”
Opposition MSPs said the situation was unacceptable and urged ministers to install indoor ventilation in schools.
Michael Marra, the Scottish Labour Education Spokesman, said: “The SNP and the Greens rejected our proposals for air filters for every classroom.
“Eighteen months into this pandemic, and ‘open a window’ is the best the SNP have to keep schools safe. It is insulting and unsustainable.”
Oliver Mundell, Scottish Conservative education spokesman, said: “We are only at the start of winter, and temperatures will drop. The SNP need to provide more support, so teachers and pupils are not left bearing the brunt of the freezing months ahead.”
Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman, said schools need more than CO2 monitors to keep Covid at bay and called for a rollout of air purifiers.
He said: “The new Omicron variant is posing more threats to us, the government has a duty to step up, evolve its position and make sure we are doing the right things for our schools.”
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