Hi, my name is Sarah Todd. We have 2 children at Norton Free Primary School. I am a GP and my husband Andy is a teacher.
At the start of January the UK government Department for Education acknowledged the importance of reducing risk of airbourne COVID transmission in classrooms. One step they took was to pledge a limited number of HEPA air purifiers to schools across the country. The ventilation threshold of eligibility for schools to apply for these (>1500ppm CO2) was far worse than safety levels recommended by the World Health Organisation (recommends safety maximum threshold of 800ppm CO2), and most schools will not receive any filters.
We know that in cold weather it can be difficult to keep classroom windows open all the time to maintain ventilation. Effective HEPA air filtration can help provide protection against airbourne viruses such as Covid-19 and also improve indoor air quality more broadly, reducing pollutants and allergens such as dust and pollen which can cause problems for children and teachers alike.
Benefits include improving children's concentration and academic performance, as well as lowering levels of sick leave amongst children and staff.
Several parents have now expressed an interest in purchasing a HEPA unit for each classroom. This is solely a fundraising page for this purpose. The units are likely to cost under £250 each, for 7 classrooms.
If parents contributed between £5-£10 per child then we would be able to fund this mostly through donations, rather than using school funds. We realise some may wish to give more while others might not feel they can afford it, but we wish each class to benefit from this venture going forwards.
As you can see from this current graph below of case rates in Sheffield (situation mirrors the whole of the UK), the only age group where COVID is NOT in decline is in Primary Schools.
We have an opportunity to help prevent further education disruption and transmission in the classroom (and onwards to vulnerable family, friends and teaching staff), by adding in an extra protective way to reduce airbourne virus through filtered air.
Many thanks for your support in protecting all our children and our local community!
I will post some other useful links below:
#CleanAir Indoors 4 Healthy Learning
A Multilayered Approach #FightTheVirus