The Ventilation of Schools

Reginald G. Kirkby
1908 Journal of the Royal Sanitary Institute  
TH E object of all true education should be to make intelligent JL labourers, craftsmen, merchants and good citizens, and the conditions under which our children labour should be such as to assist them in every way in the attainment of this object. Whilst of late years much has been done to improve the curriculum, administration, lighting, cleanliness, etc., of our schools, yet very little progress has been made with their ventilation. Of the man3-causes which bring about mental fatigue,
more » ... tal fatigue, lassitude, headache, inat.tention, so often noticeable in children towards the close of the day's studies, there is none perhaps which contributes more to this end than the want of proper ventilation. I recently visited a new school of the central hall type iu Nliddlesborough, a town whose death rate from lung diseases is very high. On entering one of the classrooms that had just been vacated, I found the air so foul that it caused me to draw back and I noticed that no attempt was made to change the air by opening the windows or in any other way, and the children were allowed to again occupy the room under these very unsatisfactory conditions and were expected to do justice to their studies. My attention was then drawn to the natural system of ventilation, and I have since examined and tested a number of buildings in various parts of the country supposed to be ventilated on this system and found-Where several ceiliug outlets were connected together by metal tubes and led into a so called central extractor, there was a danger of foul air being drawn from one classroom and carried along the tubes and delivered through what was intended to be the foul air outlet into another room for the children there to breathe over again. I believe Dr. Scurfield, Medical Officer of Health for Sheffield, made some tests in Sunderland a few years ago with somewhat similar results. Fresh air inlet wall tubes fitted with regulating traps were very often closed and sometimes filled with paper and rubbish, and the flaps being out of sight had been forgotten.
doi:10.1177/146642400802900913 fatcat:r7k3iwjpsrbfrns733v2clgjda