Thirty primary schools are to test air purifiers and ultraviolet (UV) lights in a £1.75m trial aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19 in classrooms.
Ten of the schools in Bradford, West Yorkshire, will be given high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and 10 will get UV purifiers.
The other 10 will be a control group with no devices, researchers said. If the test proves successful, the government says it could be extended to the rest of the country next year.
The Centre for Applied Education Research is collaborating with the universities of Leeds, Bradford and York, Bradford Council and the Department for Education in the government-funded exercise, which will include looking at the practical difficulties of installing this kind of technology in school buildings.
Project leader Professor Mark Mon-Williams, of the University of Leeds, said the study could be ‘game-changing for keeping schools open’, but it was vital that any measures in schools were backed up by evidence.
Results of the trial should be available before the end of the year.