UK heatwave: Schools to close early on Monday as extreme temperatures warned

·2-min read
Schools to close early on Monday as extreme temperatures warned (Getty Images)
Schools to close early on Monday as extreme temperatures warned (Getty Images)

Schools have decided to send children home early on Monday and Tuesday following an extreme heat warning for early next week.

For most schools in England, the week beginning 18 July is the last few days of classes before the summer holidays begin.

However, due to the scorching weather, a growing number of schools have announced they will be finishing the final days of the academic year early to protect both students and staff.

It comes as the Met Office has today issued a rare red warning for many parts of England which means the extreme weather could lead to “serious illness or danger to life”.

Temperatures of 35C are expected in parts of the UK from Sunday to Tuesday, with some models suggesting Britain may see 40C heat.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued a Level 3 heat-health alert for the East Midlands and South West regions.

A growing number of schools across England have announced they will be finishing the final school days early to protect both students and staff (Getty Images)
A growing number of schools across England have announced they will be finishing the final school days early to protect both students and staff (Getty Images)

Manor Junior School in Barking, Essex tweeted a letter for parents and carers which announces their “sensible decision” to close the school at 12.30pm.

Students will have to log on to Google classroom at 1.30pm for the rest of the day’s learning. Students will also be allowed to wear their PE kits to school, and have been asked to bring a hat and allowed a hand-held fan.

Fairburn View Primary School in Wakefield announced they will be finishing the school day at 12pm on Monday and Tuesday next week.

The school wrote on Facebook: “Unfortunately, our school does not have air conditioning, and gets extremely warm during hot weather - especially in the afternoons.

“We fear such high temperatures could be detrimental to the welfare of the pupils and staff.”

The rare red warning from the Met Office covers a large area of central England on Monday and Tuesday  as the heatwave intensifies (Met Office)
The rare red warning from the Met Office covers a large area of central England on Monday and Tuesday as the heatwave intensifies (Met Office)

Bovingdon Pre-School in Hertfordshire also made the decision to close after their morning sessions and encouraged parents to keep their children at home and stay inside.

Posting on Facebook, the school said that their “main concern is to keep all children and staff safe, and whilst the closure of the afternoon sessions may be of an inconvenience, this is a decision that I do not take lightly and feel that this is the only option to ensure that the safety standards of our Pre-School are met”.

James Bowen, director of policy for school leaders’ union National Association of Head Teachers, said: “If, as it appears, warmer summers are going to become the norm, then government really does need to give urgent thought to improving the state of school buildings.

“As we have learnt during the pandemic, too many are simply not fit for purpose with even basic ventilation being a challenge in some cases. Poorly ventilated classrooms are not only inconducive to work but, as we have seen, also the perfect environment for transmission of viruses.

“Whether it is air quality or extreme temperatures, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for school buildings that are conducive to learning all year round.”

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