Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer has welcomed extra funding to improve ventilation in schools and nurseries to help prevent the spread of COVID and urged Renfrewshire to apply for a share of the cash.

Greer and fellow Green MSP Gillian Mackay have consistently raised the issue of safety in schools and the need to have options in addition to opening windows to maintain safe airflow – especially during the cold winter.

Extra funding for ventilation systems was first proposed by the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government has now confirmed that funding of up to £5 million will be available to improve school ventilation systems.

Ross Greer, MSP for the West of Scotland and member of Holyrood’s Education Committee, said: “I’m pleased that the additional funding for school ventilation first proposed by the Greens has now been approved. Teachers and support staff contact me every day with concerns about the risk of omicron in their classrooms. Many need options to improve ventilation beyond opening windows, which is particularly challenging in poorly heated buildings and on cold winter days, so I’d urge Renfrewshire to apply for a share of this funding.

“Whilst CO2 monitoring appears to show that most classrooms are sufficiently ventilated, a number clearly require additional measures to be put in place to mitigate against the increased transmission risk from omicron, which is exactly why we pushed for this money to be made available.

“Scottish Government guidance is clear on the additional mitigation measures which may prove effective, so I hope that Renfrewshire will take full advantage of this funding as soon as possible. The Scottish Greens will always push for a safe environment for the young people and staff in our schools.”