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Poor ventilation and temperature control lowers student results

A wide-ranging study has found that the performance of school children in the classroom is negatively effected by poor ventilation and temperature control.

Field studies were carried out by two professors in identical classrooms at a school in Denmark to find out whether different room temperatures and quality of air impacted the performance of children carrying out everyday academic tasks.

The results found that increasing the outdoor air supply rate and reducing artificially elevated classroom temperatures improved the performance of many tasks, both in terms of speed and the amount of errors made.  

UK ventilation services company Airconuk.co.uk has said that the study shows the need for a new approach in British classrooms.

Willow Brambleton of Airconuk.co.uk commented: “With tighter budgets in the present financial climate, the temptation is to cut corners on anything that isn't directly related to improving exam results.

“However, this report shows that fresh air and cutting artificially increased temperatures improve school work.”

The results, published in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) journal, showed: 

  • Doubling the air flow increased pupil speed by between eight percent and 14 percent
  • Reducing classroom temperature by 1 degree Celsius increased speed by between two percent and four percent
  • Doubling the fresh air flow reduced errors by approximately five percent
  • Reducing temperature did not have a significant effect on errors, but marginally fewer were made in a cooler environment

Airconuk.co.uk said the study has revealed the need for better working conditions for both pupils and teachers, which would help to improve academic standards.

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