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Health & Safety Matters - High temperatures, training, regional conference

Andy Haynes, Leicester H&S Officer
30th May 2014

Having a Heat Wave?

It's heading towards the time of year when one of the major problems in many schools may well be excessively high temperatures. Of course there will probably be snow in June now I've written that! Schools, even modern ones, are infamous for having large areas of glass that make the buildings like a greenhouse. Opening the windows may not provide enough ventilation to improve matters and if the air temperature outside is high then letting air in won't help anyway. If the windows are the only source of ventilation then closing blinds to keep out the sun may actually make things worse. Classrooms full of children are likely to be humid as well, which exacerbates the situation.

I wonder if Michael Gove (and now the NAHT) has thought about this in his drive to shorten the summer holidays.

We all know that having to work in high temperatures is uncomfortable and there's plenty of evidence to suggest that prolonged exposure to heat has a detrimental effect on health. Apart from this, neither teachers nor children work as effectively when they're too hot, so the quality of education suffers. Unfortunately, there isn't a maximum legal temperature, although the NUT believes that the highest temperature that people should have to work in in schools is 26C. This is in line with the recommendation of the World Health Authority. Regulations do say that temperatures must be 'reasonable' though. School managers have a duty to make sure that children and members of staff have appropriate conditions to work in.

Training for H&S Reps

The next training course for H&S representatives will take place at Stoke Rochford Hall from the 7th to 11th July. All NUT H&S reps have the right to attend one of these courses at least once.

Regional H&S Conference

The annual Midlands NUT H&S Conference will now take place in Birmingham on Wednesday 2nd July. Exact details of times, speakers and venue have yet to be confirmed. This is open to all H&S reps but places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you are interested in attending either of the above events, please contact me in the first instance by emailing andy[at]leicesternut.org.uk.


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