By Lucy Ashton
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has called on West Dunbartonshire Council and the SNP government to act now on school ventilation, as temperatures are set to plummet as we head into winter.
During the summer, the Scottish Government announced a £10 million fund to better ventilate classrooms.
This however is equivalent to just £4,030 per school, and the inspection of classrooms will not be complete until after the October holidays – over ten weeks after schools returned.
In August, it was revealed that West Dunbartonshire Council had bought 5 CO 2 monitors for the authority’s 40 schools.
Jackie Baillie, pictured right, has highlighted research which shows that the virus is airborne and how proper ventilation in classrooms is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools, amid a high number of absences linked to the pandemic.
Anecdotal evidence from the frontline in education has also suggested that the work carried out so far has often been inadequate or flawed.
With winter fast approaching, Jackie Baillie has said that the idea that the government’s ventilation scheme amounts to keeping windows open is ‘farcical and dangerous.’
Baillie has accused the government of wasting a summer by not carrying out inspections and has called for urgent action to improve air quality.
Jackie Baillie said: “The SNP government, along with West Dunbartonshire Council, has had all summer to act to improve ventilation, but far too little has been done.
“With cases in schools very high and winter on the way there is simply no time to waste.
“Winter is looming, with temperatures set to plummet. That the SNP’s ventilation strategy currently amounts to keeping the windows open is both farcical and dangerous.
“We simply cannot have children huddled together in freezing classrooms this winter.
“Make no mistake – failure to act now will put our pupils, teachers and their families in danger.”