The government’s guidelines emphasize the importance of providing “good ventilation” in classrooms and maximizing the amount of natural airflow by “opening windows, for example.
Children throughout the region are told to pack up after halftime on their way back to school, as windows will be open even in cold weather to stop the spread of the corona virus.
Ventilation is important – but experts say that cold air can increase the likelihood of getting sick.
The guidelines also state that ventilation should be increased between classes, as well as during lunch and other breaks.
Another told ECHO that their children are allowed to take blankets with them.
One mother said: “We were told that children should wear sweaters under their blazers to keep warm, but mine do anyway”.
The rules for extra layers such as coats, which are allowed in the classroom, vary from school to school.
Teachers complain about “miserable” temperatures, numb fingers and that they have to wear scarves and coats all day long.
Some have joked that ski equipment could be issued together with PPE for teachers as they prepare for temperatures to drop further in the coming winter months.
A tweet from school principal Stuart Lock, in which he pointed out the problem, triggered a multitude of responses from teachers and school staff who shared their experiences.
Mr. Lock, Managing Director of Advantage Schools, said, “School was cold today – and much worse for students and teachers. Do people heat up and keep the windows open or what? In the real winter it will be tough”.
While ventilation advice can help stop the spread of the virus, it can also have health effects if classrooms get too cold, TES reported.
Professor Jack Gilbert, a specialist in microbes and the immune system, says: “Cold air can make the mucous membrane in the respiratory tract more susceptible to infection with rhinoviruses (common cold), influenza and coronaviruses.
“We do not yet know whether this is specifically true for SARS-CoV-2. However, due to the possible combination of cold air and elevated concentrations of the virus, it makes sense to ensure that the air in the classroom is not too cold”.