Last reviewed 23 August 2021

Carbon dioxide (CO2) monitors will be provided to all state-funded education settings from September so that staff can quickly identify where ventilation needs to be improved.

Backed by a £25 million government investment, the new monitors will enable staff to act quickly where ventilation is poor and provide reassurance that existing ventilation measures are working.

Letting fresh air into indoor spaces can help remove air that contains virus particles, the Department for Education (DfE) explained, and is important in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The monitors are portable so that schools and other settings will be able to move them around to test their full estate, starting with areas they suspect may be poorly ventilated.

The majority of some 300,000 monitors will become available over the autumn term, with special schools and alternative provision prioritised to receive their full allocation from September given their higher-than-average numbers of vulnerable pupils.

The Government has also launched a trial of air purifiers in 30 schools in Bradford, which is designed to assess the technology in education settings and whether they could reduce the risk of transmission.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Providing all schools with CO2 monitors will help them make sure they have the right balance of measures in place, minimising any potential disruption to education and allowing them to focus on world class lessons and catch up for the children who need it.”

More details will be available following the completion of procurement, he continued, but all schools and colleges are expected to receive at least partial allocations during the autumn term.

As the monitors are rolled out, the DfE will provide guidance on their use.