Among the measures in place in schools to mitigate Covid spread during the autumn term are air filtration units and more than 100 air quality sensors.
She said: ‘All educational settings have a mixture of natural and mechanical ventilation in some form or another, with the most prevalent being air handling units with extract and air replacement.
‘The Department of Education, Sport and Culture will take advice from Public Health and work with senior leaders and ensure appropriate planning is in place and any changes implemented,’ Ms Edge added.
Dr Haywood then asked whether the issue with windows being unable to open had been fixed.
Ms Edge said: ‘With regards to windows opening, obviously the maintenance of schools and reporting of that to the Department of Infrastructure is education’s [her department’s] responsibility, and I do agree that the best policy is to open windows.’
Dr Haywood also wanted to know that after two years of sensors and CO2 monitoring, when this data would be published so it can be evaluated.
Ms Edge said that the head teachers of the schools with monitors installed have a dashboard with that data displayed.
She explained that she would be happy to see if any of this information could be published, but that ultimately it was used to determine where air filtration units could be deployed most appropriately.
Ms Edge did not have the latest figures to hand about the number of units, but assured the department did keep a stock of them so that they were ready to be sent wherever there was a need.