How do sounds affect well-being at school?

20/06/2022

Over the years, research on school environments and learning has produced important evidence on the need for education stakeholders to take the effects of sound on students and teachers into serious consideration as it can have significant impact on their wellbeing and progress. This research is supported by evidence and case-studies produced by international organisations, such as the World Health Organisation and the OECD, which showcase the need to consider how critical good acoustics are to the learning of children.

European Schoolnet has also, through its research and projects, highlighted the importance of considering aspects related to noise and acoustics when creating or adapting learning spaces and school environments.

European Schoolnet, therefore, welcomes the new study funded by Saint-Gobain Ecophon and titled “A Sound Recovery – Mitigating Noise in Post-Pandemic Education” which surveyed students in three countries, building on existing evidence from PISA 2018, and further stressing the extent and impact of noise in European schools.

The report found that noise was identified as a problem by the majority of actors in schools, and that this can have a negative effect to the wellbeing and learning of both regular and SEN student populations, as well as the wellbeing and health of teachers.

It further highlights the current status quo of existing regulations and standards on school acoustics, and provides recommendations for policy makers and schools to take the opportunity of the COVID19 recovery period to improve school and classroom acoustic environments.

"As an organisation, European Schoolnet is committed to continue working with all relevant stakeholders, including actors from the public and private sectors, to develop guidance, recommendations, and produce evidence for schools and policy makers in the area of innovative pedagogy, technology, and learning environments. As an industry partner of the Future Classroom Lab, Saint-Gobain Ecophon is a valuable counterpart of European Schoolnet in promoting a more inclusive and innovative education in Europe", said Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet.

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