Maximum temperatures needed in classrooms?

School teachers have renewed calls for maximum legal temperatures in heatwave-hit classrooms as the heat continues.

Some teachers have been reporting temperatures topping 32C (90F) and very uncomfortable conditions in class.

And some schools have been dishing out ice lollies and renting air conditioners to help pupils keep cool.

General secretary of the NASUWT teaching union Chris Keates said such heat makes pupils lethargic, can affect concentration and lead to fainting.

Her union wants to see a statutory maximum temperature of 30C in school classrooms. This would mean staff and pupils being sent home if thermometers went above this.

She said excessive temperatures are a major problem for schools and that most are ill-equipped to cope with them.

She claimed teachers and pupils were sweltering in classrooms with inadequate ventilation and sometimes not even blinds at the windows which can be used to provide some limited shade.

Ms Keates said: “The impact of excessive temperatures on teaching and learning needs be given serious consideration.

“Pupils become extremely lethargic, unable to concentrate and, in some cases, faint.

“Lessons are disrupted by constant requests for time out to get drinks of water or to go outside and many tasks take far longer to perform. Teachers report that the quality of work undoubtedly suffers at such times.”

I’ve taught in a few schools now and nothing makes my job harder than extremely hot temperatures, maybe with the exception of the opposite extreme of wet play. I’m not the best at coping with the heat myself, but the kids are the priority. Recently I saw a kid literally walk himself sick due to the heat. I really believe that we need to make an upper limit for temperatures to partner the lower limit we have to prevent Hypothermia.


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