Last reviewed 26 August 2021

Education settings will be provided with carbon dioxide monitors from September to help identify where ventilation needs to be improved in order to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that it will invest £25 million in the new monitors to 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 and is important in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Around 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors will be provided to state-funded education settings over the autumn term and this will include early years provisions. Special schools and alternative provision will be prioritised to receive their full allocation from September given their higher-than-average numbers of vulnerable pupils.

The monitors are portable so education settings will be able to move them around to test their buildings, starting with areas they suspect may be poorly ventilated. The DfE will provide further guidance when the monitors are rolled out from September.

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 of Covid-19.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said:

"Clearly, ventilating indoor spaces is a crucial component of ensuring early years settings remain as safe as possible. We therefore welcome the move to make carbon dioxide monitors available to all settings that offer early entitlements, as a valuable additional step to keep them both well-ventilated and hospitable during the more challenging autumn and winter months.”

"Ensuring our early years spaces remain Covid-safe is a mission the sector is fully invested in. Any additional support for that mission will not only help protect children and the early years workforce, but also allow the sector to remain open as much as possible, benefitting the many families which rely on it."