Luke Pollard, the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, has today called for all schools in Plymouth to be fully ventilated by the end of 2022 to tackle COVID.
The call comes after the government announced it would be rolling out 7,000 new air purifiers to schools this year, a figure which has been called “completely inadequate” by teaching unions. Figures from the Labour Party suggest this would cover just 1 in 4 schools in England.
Mr Pollard has called for one air purifier per classroom for all schools in Plymouth to be installed by the end of 2022 at the very latest. He said:
“Our children have already missed over one million days of school. Education is precious – children in Plymouth cannot afford to miss any more school due to outbreaks of COVID.
“Living with the virus does not mean ignoring it. It means making adjustments to ensure we minimise impact and for schools proper ventilation is vital. That is why I want to see a plan from Ministers for accelerating the slow pace of vaccination of children, more ventilation for classrooms and more mass testing in schools.
“Ventilation has been proved to slow down the spread of COVID. With rates of the Omicron variant surging, we need air purifiers in every school, in every classroom, so every child in Plymouth has the chance to learn.”
Luke has tabled questions to the Education Secretary asking what Plymouth’s allocation of the 7,000 air purifiers for schools will be. Using data from the Government and the City Council, Luke estimates that 28,300 children in Plymouth will miss out on ventilation because this funding is inadequate.