The SNP government has been criticised for a crackpot proposal to spend £300,000 trimming the bottom off classroom doors to lessen the spread of coronavirus.
Scottish Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said there were an estimated 2,000 classrooms with problematic ventilation where doors could be undercut to improve airflow.
The proposal is part of a £4.3 million package to tackle persistently elevated CO2 levels in certain rooms.
In a letter to Holyrood’s Education Committee, Shirley-Anne Somerville set out the projected expenditures to improve air quality, including £1.6 million on air filters, £2.4 million for mechanical fans and £300,000 for doors to be undercut to improve airflow.
She highlighted the costs, to be borne by an extra £5 million allocated for capital spending in schools, and that they would vary greatly in practice, but were based on councils calculates that between 2 per cent and 4 per cent of rooms have been found to be problematic spaces where CO2 levels were too high.
Ms Somerville’s letter says that based on informal local authority feedback, they expect that only a very small number of learning, teaching or play spaces would have persistently elevated CO2 levels, and it was said that Scottish Government guidance, based on the existing weight of expert advice, is that the primary focus of mitigating activity should be on regular CO2 monitoring and associated remedial measures to improve ventilation, ie. the introduction of fresh air into spaces.
And it was said that where this can’t be readily achieved, and the CO2 readings remain high, air cleaning/filtration devices may be used as temporary mitigation to decrease risks in problematic areas while more suitable, ventilation based solutions are implemented.
The informal local authority feedback revealed that about 2-4 per cent of spaces have so far fallen into that problematic category, with around 2,000 spaces out of 50,000 learning, teaching and play spaces across all local authority school and ELC settings.
Meghan Gallacher, the Scottish Tories Shadow Children’s Minister, told a newspaper outlet that if this issue wasn’t so serious, you’d be hard-pressed not to laugh at this crackpot SNP proposal, and she said that was sawing off the bottom of classroom doors seriously Scottish Government policy to tackle the ventilation problem in classrooms?
Scottish Liberal Democrats education spokesman Willie Rennie said that rather than putting an air filter in every classroom, the Education Secretary’s answer was to send in a handyman to chop up the classroom.
And most doors, including fire doors, already have clearance from the floor, so cutting an extra 20mm off the bottom serves no purpose whatsoever, and it would probably be more cost-effective and easier to just drill holes along the bottom of the door.
Better still, that’s if someone would use their brain. Why not just keep the doors open during lessons? Or we could just blow the bl–dy doors off.
But if Nicola Sturgeon is so intent on this, which breaches fire regulations, it might be smarter to just remove the doors intact for the time being, then rehang them when she gets a dose of reality from the insurers and fire department.
Once the handyman has cut the bottom of the doors, eventually COVID will vanish and the doors will have to be replaced, all at the taxpayer’s money may I add, and it will cost millions to replace them, and do Scottish schools not have windows they can open – let’s face it, it would make more sense.
Nicola Sturgeon always came across as being politically dangerous, but now, she’s literally dangerous!