ANGRY parents have hit out at education bosses after fears were flagged around the presence of carbon dioxide in the classrooms of a Glasgow school.

Concerns have been raised after the gas was found at Bannerman High in Baillieston.

Those with children at the secondary – which has a roll of over 1200 – are unhappy that classroom are being ventilated by leaving windows open – measures which they say are unacceptable in the middle of winter.

Dozens of parents have also taken to social media claiming that their children have taken unwell in recent weeks, with symptoms including breathlessness, tiredness, sickness and nausea.

Several have also posted images of what they claim are the carbon dioxide monitors in the classroom showing unusually high readings.

However, education chiefs have written to parents insisting that the school is safe and say measures are being put in place to monitor the levels of the gas closely.

One worried mum told the Glasgow Times that her asthmatic daughter had been left to sit in a freezing classroom for three periods due to windows being left ajar.

The 42-year-old said: “It affected her breathing, and she was left feeling sick and tired. Opening windows in the middle of winter, which is what seems to be the solution right now, is not an acceptable way forward.

“It is freezing outside some days and my daughter has asthma, so the cold causes her real problems. There are lots of parents saying their kids have been coming home unwell and we want answers.

“We want to know what has caused this within parts of the building and what is being done to properly remedy the situation. Leaving windows open only masks it, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem.”

Glasgow Times:

Carbon dioxide at low concentration has little, if any, toxicological effects on humans. At higher concentrations however it can cause the development of hypercapnia and respiratory acidosis.

The most common symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and confusion.

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Another parent told the Glasgow Times that people are angry about how the problem at the school has been addressed.

He added: “I found out what was going on because my son’s teacher said to pupils who were complaining about the windows being kept open. It is ludicrous to think that staff have been told to deal with such a potential serious issue by leaving a few windows open if the levels of CO2 creep up.

“We want to know what is causing these unusual levels of carbon dioxide in the school and what is going to be done to fix this.”

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council’s education department says that data is being collected daily to monitor the levels of the gas and make sure they don’t pose a danger to staff or pupils. They also say that correspondence was sent to parents on Friday to make them aware of the measures being put in place.

It states: “We appreciate there have been concerns raised about CO2 levels. There is however no need to be alarmed by CO2 levels within the school building.

“To give some context, CO2 monitors are in place in classrooms, so staff have been checking these. Monitors are checked so that staff can put mitigations in place.

“This was established practice during the pandemic. All schools have been provided with robust guidance from the Glasgow City Council Health and Safety Team regarding managing ventilation. The advice states that to improve ventilation and thermal comfort, windows and doors should be opened.

“This clean air will replace the stale indoor air from classrooms being populated by staff and young people. During a normal school day, levels will rise, however with breaks and different capacity of young people in classrooms, there is timetabled time for new air to be circulated via ventilation methods.

“We also actively encourage staff and young people to take breaks throughout the school day outside, therefore also allowing for more ambient levels within the building.

“Unfortunately, at this time of year, we do routinely experience a rise in pupils and staff with colds and viruses.

“We will continue to take advice from the Glasgow City Council Health and Safety Team and put in place all recommendations.”

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: “Families and staff have been reassured that there is no cause for concern over CO2 levels at the school.

“There has been no change to processes put in place during the pandemic to monitor and improve air quality.

“To help address rumours that have been circulating in the community, tests have been carried out this week that illustrate the school is doing a good job in balancing comfort conditions with air quality.”