Written answers

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Maurice QuinlivanMaurice Quinlivan (Limerick City, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

75. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the recourse the parents of primary school children have if they are of the view the windows and the doors of the classroom are being kept open for the duration of the school day to the point of discomfort; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [60684/21]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Managing ventilation is just one of a suite of public health measures in place to keep our schools safe. Updated guidance for schools on Practical Steps for the Deployment of Good Ventilation Practices in Schools was provided at the end of May following the work of an expert group that carefully considered the role of ventilation in managing COVID-19.

A copy of the guidance is published on the Gov.ie website.

The over-arching approach in the guidance is for schools to have windows open as fully as possible when classrooms are not in use and partially open when classrooms are in use. This should enable the appropriate balance to be achieved between good ventilation and managing comfort levels in the classroom.

The Department's guidance outlines CO2monitors can play a part in providing a useful general indication that areas/rooms may not be adequately ventilated. They can enable occupants to become familiar with the impacts of activities, outdoor weather and window openings on levels of good ventilation. The provision of portable CO2monitors provides schools with the flexibility to focus their use to those rooms where most beneficial to inform strategies for optimising ventilation in the school.

In excess of 35,400 monitors were delivered to schools nationwide at a cost of circa €4 million which assists in guiding their ventilation strategy.

My Department's approach on good ventilation in schools, as part of a layered strategy of protective measures to control the spread of the virus, is fully consistent with Public Health advice and the Expert Group recommendations on good practices, the use of portable CO2monitors and the targeted deployment of HEPA air filter devices where necessary for poorly ventilated areas.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.