02 April 2007
The National Union of Teachers wants to cancel lessons if classrooms get too hot.
Union members will debate a motion on the maximum temperature issue this weekend (6 April) at its annual conference in Harrogate.
The union wants a limit on classroom temperatures and notes that the World Health Organisation recommends 24 C as a maximum for comfortable working. Above 26 C is not acceptable, the UN suggests.
The NUT has complained that in some schools staff and pupils become faint with heat and both groups fail to concentrate, thereby threatening the quality of teachers' work and pupils' learning abilities.
The union noted that in England regulations forbid temperatures to rise above 28 C for more than 120 hours in the school year in new schools. Existing schools are exempt.
A union spokesperson said that a chemistry teacher and NUT branch secretary in East Sussex has put the motion forward for debate. The issue is important because tight construction budgets means that corners are cut on items that mistakenly believed to be non-essential, such as air-conditioning and air-flow design.