Ventilation in schools

Ventilation in schools

It is important you consider how you ventilate your teaching and other occupied indoor spaces.

Ventilation in schools

Making sure indoor spaces are well ventilated and have lots of fresh air is recommended for schools at all levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, along with the appropriate use of face coverings, physical distancing, good hygiene and other health measures. Good ventilation works alongside these measures to help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The best way to maximise ventilation is to open all windows and doors as much as possible, and whenever it is practical to do so. The exception to this is spaces that are fitted with ducted air conditioning systems (excluding heat pumps), which do not rely on opening windows to bring in fresh air.  

Follow our guidance to fine-tune your school’s ventilation strategies to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures while achieving good ventilation.

Our ventilation strategy

Ventilation help in winter

Air flow behaves differently at different temperatures – for example, the bigger the temperature difference between outside and inside, the more efficiently fresh outside air is drawn in through open windows. This means ventilation can work better during cold weather, so you can still achieve good ventilation with windows just partially open.

There are several ways to do this depending on your school’s design, how each space is being used and the outdoor conditions. Read our tips on how you can do this, with posters and a pre-winter checklist available on our resources page.

Support is available to schools who are concerned about maintaining good ventilation. This includes:

  • specific ventilation advice from our COVID-19 ventilation team 
  • the free supply of a limited number of portable air cleaners and CO2 monitors, being distributed to all schools in Term 2
  • the supply of additional portable air cleaners where this is found to be the correct interim or supplementary solution
  • the ability to purchase suitable portable air cleaners and CO2 monitors from the Ministry’s nominated suppliers at discounted pricing
  • funding of urgent property improvements over $5,000 that are required to achieve good ventilation.

For ventilation advice and to access this support, please contact your Property Advisor or our COVID-19 ventilation team on ventilation.mailbox@education.govt.nz.

Operational funding

Funding for heating

The Ministry is providing a one-off supplementary energy payment to schools to support them to maintain good levels of ventilation and heating this winter. 

$3.6 million has been allocated to schools, kura, teen parent units and activity centres, based on school size. All schools will receive at least $200, and funding will be capped at $4,000. Most schools will receive a 5% top-up of their annual heat, light and water funding allocation. Funding will be provided to all schools by the end of July. 

Further detail about funding available for ECEs is available here Early Learning – Ventilation