How hot does it have to be for schools to close in the UK and what can you do if your child is sent home early? – The Sun | The Sun

A HEATWAVE is set to hit with temperatures into the 30s signalling the start of sunnier summer weather.

Unfortunately it comes in term time for millions of school kids, who just missed out on basking in sunshine over half term.

With sweltering temperatures expected in classrooms, can schools close or send children home early if it gets too hot?

Pack lunchboxes with ice pops and buckle in for a scorcher – here's what you need to know.

How hot does it need to be to cancel school in the UK?

Schools follow the same rules as workplaces, which means there is a minimum temperature but no maximum temperature to warrant closure.

The Health and Safety Executive says: "During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable."

This means employers and schools have to provide "clean, fresh air" — as well as keep temperatures at a comfortable level.

That means they could take measures like opening windows or doors, but it won't necessarily mean a day off.

Some schools could introduce relaxations of uniform like removing ties or blazers to help battle the temperatures, but this will be up to your local school and will vary.

The National Union of Teachers said special measures should be put in place to reduce temperatures as soon as staff complain about feeling uncomfortable.

A report stated: "If in doubt, 26C should be used as the trigger for these measures.

"Other steps may also need to be considered such as closing classrooms which are unacceptably hot and teaching classes elsewhere, or even sending pupils home, provided reasonable notice has been given to parents."

Parents should also make sure their kids are well equipped in a heatwave, with a hat and sunscreen if they are likely to be playing outdoors.

What are my rights if my child is sent home because it's too hot?

Employees do not have a statutory right to be paid in the event that they have an emergency day off with their children.

Some companies might choose to offer paid time off to staff as a perk though, so it's worth checking with your employer.

But if school is shut down, parents are usually entitled to unpaid time off to look after the children.

During a heatwave in 2013, school teachers called for maximum legal temperatures to be set in classrooms over fears that it was too hot for the kids.

At the time, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union Chris Keates said heatwave temperatures make pupils lethargic, affect concentration and can lead to fainting.

The union called for a maximum classroom temperature of 30C – which would see kids sent home if thermometers rose above this level.

However, the law remains unchanged – and, as with term-time holidays, you could get into trouble for keeping your kids off school in the heatwave.

What should you do during a heatwave?

It is advised to drink a lot of water in order to stay hydrated during the hot spell.

Keeping a bottle of sunscreen with you to soak up those UV rays is also highly advisable as is ensuring you have a hat to prevent sunstroke.

Don't head out during the hottest hours of the day either if you can avoid it – this is usually from around 11am to 4pm.

Trying to find shade or breezy spots during these times will be your best bet.



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