Lytchett Minster School is a popular secondary school with a thriving Sixth Form. Here 100 teachers and 1500 students, ages 11 to 18, enjoy the Dorset countryside while studying the national curriculum plus art, drama, music and technology.
“They built the School around an original 17th century Manor House,” says Kieren Hasler, Lytchett Minster School Business Manager. The rural campus comprises a blend of traditional and modern architecture, which is part of its charm, and perhaps part of its challenge dealing with COVID-19.
Schools across the UK faced two lockdowns within the past year. It became imperative that they examine the safety of their environments. Through it all, Kieren says Lytchett Minster School looked to science to lead the way.
“The first lockdown was a bit of a shock,” says Kieren. The School was quick to follow the recommendations of hand washing and sanitizing surfaces. As science understood the virus better, additional information came to light. “Science made it clear,” says Kieren. “The World Health Organization and other notable scientists from the UK and around the world acknowledged that airborne aerosols could transfer coronavirus.” It was daunting. “Just breathing without proper ventilation could spread the virus,” says Kieren. The School had a risk assessment taken of their campus buildings. They chose Rensair, a portable hospital-grade air purification system to solve their air quality needs, but it took some careful consideration to arrive at their decision.
The first lockdown happened during spring/summer, which allowed for open doors and windows. “In the second lockdown it was winter and we had windows open, but students had to wear their coats in the classroom,” says Kieren. Still, the risk assessment identified spaces where fresh air could not ventilate. “So we had rooms we could not use because we couldn’t ventilate them with fresh air.”
Kieren says they found they had two choices. “We could refrain from using the rooms and spaces that didn’t have access to fresh air because they presented a sizable risk for infection, or we could look for a solution.” It’s no surprise they persevered.
“We looked into different air purifiers and relied on science to determine which system fit our needs,” says Kieren. The School needed a quality air purifying system that:
1. Could service a large area
2. Could capture and also kill pathogens
3. Had powerful HEPA filtration
4. Was not noisy so we could use it in the classroom environment
Kieren says Rensair was the air purifying system that fulfilled all their needs. Science also backed Rensair air purification. Top independent laboratories have proven the Rensair patented technology to be 99.97% effective at killing and removing airborne pathogens such as the coronavirus and other pathogens.
They selected Rensair air purifiers and placed five in critical locations:
1. Head Teacher’s office with staff meeting area (major building)
2. Computer Room (major building)
3. Hallway near photocopier (Maths & Science Centre)
4. Main hallway, a busy corridor and congregation area (Maths & Science Centre)
5. Large open classroom (Maths & Science Centre)
Like many other schools and businesses, Kieren says they never considered air purification before the pandemic. “Air purification can be complex,” says Kieren. “But it’s an important protective measure to have in place if we were to get the students back in school and keep everyone as safe as possible.”
Kieren also found that Rensair was effortless to use. “It’s as easy as plugging it in and turning it on and off,” he says. For a busy school, ease of use is important.
The areas that were high risk are now functioning to capacity, and there’s reassurance that Rensair air purifiers are contributing to mitigating the risk of viral spread.
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