Ventilation in NSW schools

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The NSW Department of Education’s asset use recommendations are informed by:

■ NSW Health advice

■ Research from the Doherty Institute

■ Guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO)

■ Independent peer reviewed expert advice from building services consultants Steensen Varming.

Department of Education’s ventilation and asset use strategy

Phase 1 - Audit of all schools completed

A statewide review of all NSW public schools has been completed with school Principals provided with localised audit reports on individual spaces.

The Department of Education received independent expert ventilation advice supported by research from the Doherty Institute and guidance by the World Health Organisation.

Phase 2 - Customise to local school conditions complete

Principals and local Asset Services Officers assessed ventilation requirements in each school setting using their ventilation reports. Remediation works were completed to meet safety and occupancy guidelines.

Phase 3 - Ongoing support and COVID safety

Local Asset Services Officers continue to work with schools to support ventilation and COVID-19 safety.

Permanent remediation works for ventilation will continue. Air purifiers and fresh air ventilation systems are being deployed for specific spaces, where required, and a carbon dioxide (CO2) trial is underway.

Supporting COVID-safe school operations

The Department of Education’s ventilation and asset use recommendations are complete. Modification and rectification works are complete and students and teachers can occupy their school safely in accordance with their individual COVID-19 Safety Plan.

School Infrastructure NSW worked with Principals to identify and complete rectification works for the return of face-to-face teaching from 25 October. Some of these measures are permanent, and some are temporary – all have been put in place to ensure our community, parents, teachers and students can have confidence their school has the required natural ventilation.  

We’ll continue to support all NSW public schools with advice and on-the-ground support on a range of COVID-safe measures.

Previous advice published relating to the departments ventilation and asset use recommendations can be found here.