Schools should be 'sensible' on classroom temperatures amid coronavirus

Schools should take a "sensible" approach to ensuring classrooms are warm enough over winter, while also making sure they are well ventilated amid the coronavirus crisis, council bosses have said.

Windows are being kept open in some classrooms
Windows are being kept open in some classrooms

Windows have been kept open in some classrooms as part of the battle against Covid-19, but with temperatures beginning to fall this could now become more problematic.

Pupils at some schools have been told they cannot wear coats in classrooms even if windows are open as it goes against the uniform policy.

It could leave headteachers facing a headache over how to keep classrooms ventilated while ensuring they are warm enough.

It follows warnings from the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) that children would have to "get used to being cold".

It contrasts with Germany, where schools have been asked to open windows every 20 minutes – and pupils have been instructed to bring in coats, hats and blankets.

Barr Beacon School, near Walsall, said pupils wouldn't be allowed to wear coats in classrooms but would be able put vests or T-shirts on under their uniforms.

Wolverhampton Council said classrooms should be a minimum temperature of 16°C and encouraged teachers be "sensible and pragmatic".

Dudley, Sandwell and Staffordshire councils said it was a matter for schools to decide.

A Wolverhampton Council spokesman said: "We are very clear that schools must maintain a reasonable temperature for staff and pupils throughout the working day – this is a minimum of 16°C in classrooms and 13°C in areas involving rigorous physical effort, such as sports halls.

'Sensible and pragmatic approach'

"We have provided schools with guidance around heating and ventilation and advocate a sensible and pragmatic approach to maintaining pupils' comfort whilst balancing the need for increased ventilation to limit the spread of Covid-19.

“This could include ventilating classrooms when they are not in use, for instance before and after school or during breaks, though how this is achieved is a matter for individual schools based on their specific circumstances.

"If any parents or carers have concerns about the temperature levels in classrooms, they should speak to their school."

Susanne Lin-Klitzing, who heads a German teaching union, said schools there were taking a practical approach to ensure pupils remained comfortable.

She said: "Correct ventilation is the be-all and end-all.

"For the cold months, thick sweaters, scarves and blankets will be part of the basic equipment of the students."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News