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Ministers complain about ventilation schedule in classrooms while children sit in freezing classrooms

Ministers have been accused of making thousands of schoolchildren shiver in frigid classrooms through a second Covid winter by acting sluggishly over ventilation.

Labor broke out today with a nearly a year delay between scientists who first warned the government about the importance of proper airflow in school spaces and the launch of a pilot program to work out how to improve it.

The pilot, which is being run at a school in Bradford, West Yorkshire, was put out to tender in April last year and is not expected to be completed until the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

But the opposition pointed out in May 2020 – 11 months before the tender came out – on advice from Sage experts that ventilation and other measures would be vital to keep schools open safely.

In both the winter of 2020/21 and 21/22, there have been complaints that school children have been forced to learn in frigid classrooms because of the guidance to leave windows open to allow air to circulate.

And by the end of the school year, most Covid restrictions have already been lifted.

Shadow Schools Secretary Stephen Morgan said: “These revelations expose further government hesitation and slowdown on basic class protection as schools have faced wave after wave of Covid chaos.

Now, 20 months after the first warnings from scientists, children are still being forced to learn in cold classrooms. Ministers treat our children as an afterthought and it cannot go on.

‘The education secretary urgently needs to get a grip on this situation and draw up a practical ventilation plan so that children learn together in the classroom.’

Labor broke out today with a nearly a year delay between scientists who first warned the government about the importance of proper airflow in school spaces and the launch of a pilot program to work out how to improve it.

Labor broke out today with a nearly a year delay between scientists who first warned the government about the importance of proper airflow in school spaces and the launch of a pilot program to work out how to improve it.

Shadow Schools Secretary Stephen Morgan said: 'Now, 20 months after scientists' first warnings, children are still being forced to learn in cold classrooms'

Shadow Schools Secretary Stephen Morgan said: 'Now, 20 months after scientists' first warnings, children are still being forced to learn in cold classrooms'

Shadow Schools Secretary Stephen Morgan said: ‘Now, 20 months after scientists’ first warnings, children are still being forced to learn in cold classrooms’

1642784914 791 Ministers complain about ventilation schedule in classrooms while children sit

1642784914 791 Ministers complain about ventilation schedule in classrooms while children sit

Responding to a written parliamentary question from the Shadow Education Secretary, Bridget Phillipson, about the pilot project, Vaccine and Health Secretary Maggie Throup said: “The tender was published on 28 April 2021 and contracts were awarded to the successful bidders. the trial is still ongoing and will continue until the end of the 2021/2022 school year.’

Unions lash out at ‘micromanagement’ in mask row

Outraged education unions today accused Whitehall of attempting to ‘micromanage’ schools after Minister Nadhim Zahawi emailed MPs saying he will personally investigate any plans to return masks to classrooms.

The education minister said last night that local officials would try to persuade individual schools to give up the masks.

He stressed that “face-to-face education for all students has always been my priority,” adding: “National guidelines for wearing face coverings in public areas will also be removed in line with the national move from Plan B. This applies to all schools’.

But in a letter to MPs, he admitted masks could be reintroduced in the event of an ‘extraordinary’ local Covid outbreak.

dr. Mary Bousted of the NEU was furious today that ministers who micromanage such decisions seem completely unnecessary, if not bizarre.

It came as schools across England openly revolted against the government over masks after more than 100 headmasters warned parents that children must continue to wear face coverings in classrooms.

Union bosses fueled the uprising this week after accusing Boris Johnson of violating his “duty of care” to teachers over the new mask guidelines.

The Prime Minister announced this week an easing of Covid restrictions, from WFH guidance to face coverings and Covid isolation, as the Omicron wave subsides.

But critics have argued that Mr Johnson is lifting virus restrictions to appease his Tory backseat and save his own skin as he fights for his political career amid the dramatic fallout from ‘Partygate’.

Schools defy government anti-mask guidelines and tell parents that students must continue to wear face coverings.

The minutes of a May 19, 2020 Sage meeting, when the schools had already been closed by then-education secretary Gavin Williamson, show that they advised that “opening schools safely … would require a significant effort to ensure that the environments are suitable to minimize transmission (for example for keeping distance, hygiene measures and ventilation). Systems are needed to evaluate this, and possibly enforcement mechanisms’.

Two months later, in July 2020.’

But in response to a written parliamentary question from the shadow education minister, Bridget Phillipson, about the pilot project, Vaccines and Health Minister Maggie Throup said: ‘The tender was published on April 28, 2021, with contracts to be awarded by July 2021. successful bidders were awarded. The trial is still ongoing and will continue until the end of the 2021/2022 school year.’

Thirty schools in Bradford are testing air purifiers and UV lamps in classrooms as part of a £1.75 Covid control trial conducted by the UK Heath Security Agency (UKHSA).

It will assess whether they are combating the spread of the coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses and hopes to gauge the feasibility of implementing the technologies in primary schools.

In the randomized study, 10 schools were equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, 10 with UV sanitizers, and 10 without equipment to serve as a control group.

According to guidelines from the Health and Safety Executive, fog, mist, vapor and ultraviolet treatments may be “appropriate options for controlling the spread of the coronavirus and disinfecting a larger space or room.”

At the time the pilot was launched, Schools Secretary Nick Gibb was asked if it would be rolled out more widely. minimize the risk of transmission, as well as hygiene and all staggered starts and so on in schools.

‘Ventilation was an important part of that process from the start and it will continue to be part of our guidance to schools.

“We’re looking at air purifiers, that’s what the Bradford pilot is about. We are also looking at CO2 monitors to see whether this is an effective way of helping schools monitor air quality.’

The Department of Health and UKHSA have been contacted for comment.

It came as Boris Johnson urged teachers to insist that masks continue to be worn in classes to follow the rules that no longer require their use in classrooms.

Headteachers in England will ignore the bonfire of Prime Minister’s Plan B restrictions by forcing students to wear face coverings in classrooms.

Britain’s major education unions have accused the embattled Tory leader of making the decision to save his own political career while dealing with the fallout from ‘Partygate’, rather than basing it on ‘sound public health and scientific advice’.

The National Education Union warned against lifting Omicron measures “too soon” as it could lead to “more disruption” for schools.

Today a No10 spokesperson said: ‘Children have been one of the hardest hit as a result of the disruption during the pandemic and we recognize the impact this has had on their education.

“The Prime Minister believes it is vital that children receive face-to-face education and can enjoy a normal classroom experience and the Prime Minister also believes that schools should follow the latest guidelines.

“We have been clear that we have removed the requirement to wear face masks in classrooms and that from January 27 we will remove the advice for wearing face masks in common areas.”

Covid infections are on the rise among primary school children in England, official data shows in what could be a sign of the back-to-school effect.

Statisticians at the Office for National Statistics estimate that eight percent of young people aged two to 11 had Covid on any given day in the week to January 15, the equivalent of one in 13, a slight increase from 7 percent the week before. .

The rate, based on Pap smears from 160,000 people across the country, is the highest of any other age group, with 20- to 34-year-olds having the second highest rate (one in 17).

While rates fall or level off in every other age group, they still rise in children. Only five percent of young people under the age of 12 had the virus a month earlier.

It comes after kids returned to class on January 4 after a two-week break over the festive period.

Despite rising infections among primary and preschool children, the ONS found that infections have fallen across England for the first time since Omicron launched last week. It estimated that about 2.9 million people were infected on any given day in the week to January 15, a “welcome drop” from the record 3.7 million the week before.

The ONS survey is considered the most reliable indicator of the outbreak in the UK, as it uses random sampling of around 100,000 people, rather than relying on people who come forward to be tested.

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