Greens: Schools need ventilation assistance

The return of schools during the Omicron wave must be supported with further safety measures, the Scottish Greens have said.

At the First Minister’s Covid update today, Scottish Greens health spokesperson Gillian Mackay raised the fact schools could still face severe disruptions despite the fact the decision has been made for them to remain open.

Every secondary pupil has been asked to take a lateral flow test before returning to school, but in many schools it is very difficult to maintain safe distancing or good ventilation.

Gillian Mackay said: “Eleven local authorities have seen pupils return to school today, with more to follow tomorrow, and staff and parents are understandably concerned about the impact of the Omicron strain.

“Many teachers will be opening windows to ensure adequate ventilation. With temperatures close to freezing, this is not a viable option. Some of the funding allocated to support measures could be used to allow Scotland’s councils to purchase air filtration units for classrooms that require them.

“This would provide some reassurance for teachers and a better learning environment for pupils that are likely to see disruptions due to absences anyway.”