DofE advice for the heat wave

DofE advice for the heat wave

Dear All


The DFE have issued the below advice about helping schools function in hot weather. I have written a brief letter for all parents/carers to be circulated too.


Protecting children outdoors

During periods of high temperature, the following steps should be taken:


  • Children should not take part in vigorous physical activity on very hot days, such as when temperatures are in excess of 30°C

  • Encourage children playing outdoors to stay in the shade as much as possible

  • children should wear loose, light-coloured clothing to help keep cool and sun hats with wide brims to avoid sunburn

  • Use sunscreen (at least factor 15 with UVA protection) to protect skin if children are playing or taking lessons outdoors for more than 20 minutes

  • Provide children with plenty of water (such as water from a cold tap) and encourage them to drink more than usual when conditions are hot


Protecting children indoors

During periods of high temperature, the following steps should be taken:


  • Open windows as early as possible in the morning before children arrive, or preferably overnight to allow stored heat to escape from the building – it is important to check insurance conditions and the need for security if windows are to be left open overnight

  • Almost close windows when the outdoor air becomes warmer than the air indoors – this should help keep the heat out while allowing adequate ventilation

  • Use outdoor sun awnings if available, or close indoor blinds or curtains, but do not let them block window ventilation

  • Keep the use of electric lighting to a minimum

  • Switch off all electrical equipment, including computers, monitors and printers when not in use – equipment should not be left in ‘standby mode’ as this generates heat

  • If possible, use those classrooms or other spaces which are less likely to overheat, and adjust the layout of teaching spaces to avoid direct sunlight on children

  • Oscillating mechanical fans can be used to increase air movement if temperatures are below 35°C – at temperatures above 35°C fans may not prevent heat-related illness and may worsen dehydration

  • If necessary, consider rearranging school start, finish, and play times to avoid teaching during very hot conditions

  • Encourage children to eat normally and drink plenty of cool water