The Plaid Cymru Spokesperson for Education Siân Gwenllian has said that “we must use all the tools in our arsenal to keep our children and young people safe”, as her party renews its calls for guidance on ventilation in schools.
Plaid Cymru has renewed its call on the Welsh Government to "make use of all methods available to keep children safe in schools, including ventilation in particular".
Welsh Government issued guidance late last night (Wednesday 25 August)—ahead of the new school year in September—but the guidance does not mention ventilation.
Independent SAGE guidance, published in June 2021, recommended the use of ventilation to be implemented immediately in schools, and in a separate report called for the creation of a ventilation support fund.
Plaid Cymru Education Spokesperson, Sian Gwenllian MS, has expressed her “disappointment” in the government’s “hesitancy” in adopting this "important tool in preventing the spread of covid amongst the population least likely to be vaccinated".
She said: “While refreshed guidance for schools is welcome, it’s disappointing that the Welsh Government hasn’t made good use of the summer holiday period to put in place plans for proper ventilation in schools.
“There is an increasing body of scientific evidence suggesting the huge role ventilation plays in reducing the spread of airborne viruses like covid-19; encouraging fresh air to circulate in indoor spaces is one of our key tools for combatting COVID.
“We know that being outdoors reduces the risk significantly, so why is the government hesitant to make use of ventilation to lower transmission in schools? We must use all the tools in our arsenal to keep children safe and prevent COVID spreading amongst the population least likely to be vaccinated.”