“Schools need practical and financial support in keeping our children safe” – Sian Gwenllian MS

Plaid Cymru has today called for CO2 monitors to be installed in Welsh educational settings.

The call comes as Welsh Government issues its framework for schools for the new school year.

The framework notes the importance of ventilation in schools, pointing to guidance issued to businesses which encourages ventilation to be improved, and for time to be limited in poorly ventilated spaces, but the guidance does not mention how this can be measured.

The Plaid Cymru led council in Ynys Mon has been using CO2 monitors in schools for some months.

Last week, the UK Government announced that all state-funded education settings in England will be provided with CO2 monitors from September. 

Schools in Wales re-open for the new term from Wednesday 1 September and have been given until 20 September for the new framework to be implemented.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for Education, Sian Gwenllian MS said,

“Today’s government guidance underlines the importance of vaccines in protecting schools from coronavirus infections. But when the vast majority of school children are ineligible for the vaccine, and schools are due to return at a time when coronavirus is once against spreading freely in our communities, it’s impractical to work on the assumption that infection can be kept out of our schools.

“What Welsh Government must do is give schools practical and financial support in helping to limit transmission. One of the most effective ways is to bring in fresh air into classrooms, but today’s guidance mentions nothing about how schools are meant to monitor air quality, it issues no advice about encouraging children to wear warm clothes during school hours, nor does it say what schools are to do with classrooms where it may be impossible to open windows because of their poor condition or if they are painted shut! 

“It’s imperative that we use all the tools available to us to help keep our children safe, and I urge Welsh Government to issue CO2 monitors to all educational settings so that air quality can be monitored. They must also provide practical guidance for educational settings to maintain both good ventilation and learner comfort in what will soon be our coldest season.”