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The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has called on the Minister of Education, Michelle McIlveen, to take firm action to improve ventilation in schools to reduce further Covid disruption.
 
The union says proper measures to increase airflow make a difference to health and would help to limit the damage to learning for pupils.
 
Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT, said:
 
“The NASUWT believes that CO2 monitors should be in place in every school as part of an effective Covid safety response. Many teachers are still working in rooms which have the windows sealed shut, yet we now know that good ventilation is a key mitigation in helping to reduce the spread of Covid and other viruses in indoor environments.
 
"Given the recent warnings we have heard from the Chief Medical Officer that the autumn and winter could be a very difficult period again for Northern Ireland, it’s important that pre-emptive action is taken in schools.

“A commitment from ministers to a fund to provide enhanced ventilation, monitoring and support with air filtration would be an extremely positive move. It would be reassuring to those working within our schools and be reassuring for many parents.”
 
Justin McCamphill, NASUWT National Official for Northern Ireland, said:

“The governments in England and Scotland have committed to CO2 monitoring in schools. The Department of Education in Northern Ireland should follow suit immediately.

“The NASUWT is calling on the Minister of Education to outline her plans for improved ventilation in Northern Ireland schools.
 
“While improved ventilation is beneficial, the NASUWT is also calling on the Executive to restore the full range of mitigations which were in place before the summer break.”

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