The Danish working environment authority, Arbejdstilsynet, has reprimanded every third school that it inspected between 2012 and 2013, according to a report that national broadcaster DR has come into possession of.
The report showed that out of the 1,625 public and private schools that Arbejdstilsynet inspected, 567 were reprimanded for having a poor working environment, and one fifth of those were because of poor indoor environments. The age of schools is an issue, the report claims. Some 70 percent are over 40 years old.
”There were completely different building regulations back in the 1970s compared to today,” Rasmus Challi, a consultant specialist with the Danish Centre of Educational Environment, told DR Nyheder. “That means that many schools don’t have acceptable ventilation solutions.”
Concentration issues and illness
The reprimands mean the schools have to improve their working environments within a certain period of time. Some 64 of the schools had such serious working environments that the authorities have ordered them to make immediate changes.
Studies have shown that poor working environments reduce the ability of students to concentrate, while increasing absenteeism due to the illness of students as well as teachers.
There are a total of 1,918 public and private school in Denmark.