Air purification in schools could improve student attendance and performance.

Mar 13, 2023 | Commercial, Education, Health

Over the last three years, clean air has become central to the conversation around safe classroom environments. Throughout the pandemic, educators, administrators, and governing bodies desperately sought effective solutions that would allow both staff and students to return safely to the structure and collaborative environment of in-person learning. 

While the pandemic certainly instigated the surge of interest in air purification for education facilities, the conversation has now expanded far beyond the benefits for combatting SARS-CoV-2. 

More and more research is emerging that demonstrates the significant benefits of air purification in schools on the health, attendance rates and academic performance of students. Among faculty, too, we are seeing increased productivity, better overall health and wellbeing, and a drop in absenteeism. 

Here’s how Australian schools can use active air purification to create a better indoor environment for their students. 

Protect students and staff against illness. 

Patented technology from RGF® Environmental Group converts water vapour into airborne hydrogen peroxide, dispersing millions of tiny cleaning molecules into the room that seek-and-destroy viruses, pathogens, bacteria, mould, and pollutants – both in the air and on surfaces. 

This process is called PHI® (Photohydroionization), which has been scientifically proven to deactivate the germs from a sneeze before they can travel one metre!  

By installing active air purification systems in classrooms and administration buildings, schools can: 

  • Prevent the spread of germs and protect their students and staff from illness; 
  • Eliminate common allergens like dust and pollen from indoor spaces, allowing asthma sufferers to find relief from symptoms triggered by particle exposure; 
  • Prevent mould and microbial growth, ensuring a safe and hygienic environment for all;
  • Deactivate odour-causing bacteria, offering relief for teachers dealing with the stench of sweaty kids after lunch break! 

Reduce absenteeism. 

The NSW Department of Education conducted a review of the drivers of school attendance, which confirmed the following: 

‘Non-attendance at school is associated with a variety of poor outcomes for students, both academically and socially. Absences from school drive lower academic achievement, particularly in numeracy.  

A Western Australian study of student absences and NAPLAN scores found that the correlation between absence and achievement was consistently negative across all year levels.  

Additionally, the amount of non-attendance matters – the strength of the association between absence and poorer academic achievement increased with the number of absences.’ 

With more than 35% of student absences each year being due to sickness, one of the simplest ways for schools to improve attendance rates is to protect students against the spread of germs and viruses. Making use of active air purification technology is the most effective way to do just this. 

Set students up for academic success. 

Improving attendance rates and mitigating the negative impacts of student absenteeism is certainly impressive, but what if educators could take it a step further and set their students up for enhanced academic success?  

Poor air quality in the classroom impacts more than the health and wellbeing of students. It affects their learning capacity, concentration, memory, and energy levels. While we are extremely fortunate in Australia to enjoy low pollution levels of outdoor air, the same cannot be said for our indoor environments – and this needs to change. 

Research conducted by UNSW Professor Mat Santamouris found CO₂ levels of up to 4000ppm in classrooms, which is more than four times the maximum threshold recommended by Australia’s National Construction Code. 

“Under these conditions, both the teacher and the students are sleepy and tired, and their learning capacity is reduced tremendously,” Professor Santamouris said. 

Further to this, we see studies that show children in classrooms with high indoor air quality obtain better scores on standardised tests for math and reading ability. Other research found that overall academic performance of students increased by 8% after improving classroom ventilation and air quality. 

If you are a teacher, educator, administrator or concerned parent, we are here to support you by providing clean air solutions for your school.

Custom systems are quick and easy to install, and can be retrofit to any existing split system air conditioner, ducted AC system, portable standalone options or integrated into a high-powered commercial fan.

Get in touch today for a free site assessment and quote!