Wednesday 5 January 2022 / 4:36 PM Bridget Phillipson / Coronavirus / Education

Labour reveals promised air purifiers will not arrive with schools until 620 days after Sage first warned about the importance of ventilation

The Government’s promised 7,000 air purifiers won’t start arriving in schools and colleges until 620 days after Sage first warned about the importance of ventilation for getting children back into school in May 2020. 

Responding to a statement in Parliament on the return to education settings, Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson MP will note that for a year Labour has been urging the Government to act on Sage’s ventilation advice, but the Government’s last-minute actions this week “do not rise to the challenge” of keeping children learning in school. She will call on Ministers to back Labour’s call for a testing guarantee for pupils and staff, ensuring supply problems do not lead to unnecessary time out of class.

Phillipson will also urge the Government to go further on supporting children’s education recovery, with attendance data showing a further 10million school days were missed due to Covid last term, on top of the 115 days the average child had out of school between March 2020 and July 2021. 

Bridget Phillipson MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Vaccination, ventilation and testing are key to ensuring children and staff can continue to learn together in school, but Ministers are again falling short with a lack of tests, only half of eligible children vaccinated and just a fraction of the ventilation systems our schools need.

“Labour called for decisive action to be taken over the Christmas break to get these problems solved but the government has again failed to get ahead of the virus.

“We’ve got a new Education Secretary, a new team of government ministers, but our children are still being treated as an afterthought with chaotic, last-minute announcements hampering their education. It is incompetent, complacent, and inadequate.”