UPDATE: Hot weather advice

Please find advice from the NEU on hot weather here and in the document at the end of this post.

Some short-term measures schools could take are:

  • Provision of water coolers.
  • Permission to be given for pupils to drink water in classrooms.
  • Reallocation of classes to cooler rooms whenever possible.
  • Relaxation of dress codes for staff and pupils.
  • Appropriate changes to the school lunch menu.
  • Ensuring that windows can be safely opened.
  • Installation of white blinds and/or reflective film on windows.
  • Use of portable air conditioning units in the worst affected classrooms/staff room (although these can be noisy).
  • Provision of suitably sized fans for those rooms which are not so badly affected.
  • Consideration of the needs of pregnant teachers who will feel the effects of the heat more acutely than anyone else and may, eg the need to be excused playground duty.
  • Starting and finishing school early, if staff are happy with such an arrangement, provided that adequate notice has been given to parents.
  • Curtailing of certain heat-generating activities, for example, use of computers, Bunsen burners, ovens, design and technology equipment, strenuous physical activity in PE lessons etc, unless effective heat extraction measures can be put in place.

Longer term measures include:

  • Introducing a properly designed air conditioning system into the building: in some buildings this is not possible, either because of the age or type of the building, or because of planning restrictions. A properly maintained air conditioning system is a very effective way of reducing temperatures. However, air conditioning systems are expensive and use a very high level of power; other more environmentally friendly solutions can also be considered.
  • Redesigning the work area: often simply moving people away from windows, or reducing heat gain by installing reflective film or blinds to windows, can be a very effective way of keeping a workplace cooler.
  • The installation of fans or natural ventilation: providing fans or windows that open can also help staff and pupils to cool down, although both these become less effective at higher temperatures. Portable air-cooling cabinets are also available, which are much more effective.
  • Development of shady areas over time, either through planting of trees or the construction of shelters in playgrounds.
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