The government has introduced a new expectation that schools must make sure they are "always keeping occupied spaces well ventilated" to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) updated this afternoon sets out the existing "system of controls" for schools – a set of protective measures they must take to prevent and respond to Covid-19 cases – with one key addition.
The new instruction states that schools must always keep occupied spaces "well ventilated" to prevent the spread of the disease.
Last month, the government was urged to explain to schools how they can ensure that classrooms are well ventilated without forcing teachers and pupils to work in uncomfortably cold conditions.
Teachers have complained of "miserable" temperatures, numb fingers, and having to wear scarves and coats all day.
The updated "system of controls" are as follows:
1) Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.
2) Where recommended, ensure the use of face coverings in schools.
3) Clean hands thoroughly more often than usual.
4) Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the "catch it, bin it, kill it" approach.
5) Introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents.
6) Minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible.
7) Where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
8) Always keeping occupied spaces well ventilated.
Numbers 1 to 5, and number 8, must be in place in all schools, all the time.
Number 6 must be properly considered and schools must put in place measures that suit their particular circumstances.
Number 7 applies in specific circumstances.
Response to any infection
9) Engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.
10) Manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) amongst the school community.
11) Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.
Numbers 9 to 11 must be followed in every case where they are relevant.