Heatwave: School closures announced on Monday and Tuesday as Met Office issues ‘red alert’

16 July 2022, 09:41 | Updated: 16 July 2022, 11:17

Some schools are being shut in the heatwave next week
Some schools are being shut in the heatwave next week. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Schools are looking at the whether they should close on Monday and Tuesday next week, as the country faces a ‘red alert’ heatwave warning over 40C forecast that ‘will put lives at risk.’

A national emergency has been declared and the red alert for heat has been issued for Monday and Tuesday.

Schools have not formally been ordered to shut but they are being told they must take steps to keep pupils safe.

One college in Bromley, London, has told parents they have “taken the unprecedented decision to close the school and ask students and staff to work remotely.”

Read more: 'Lives at risk' as national heatwave emergency declared with temperatures set to hit 40C

Kemal Technology college headteacher Emma Wride and executive headteacher Stuart Smith said the decision was “in the best interests of the school community.”

Dr Challonher’s High School in Buckinghamshire told parents on Friday that they were closing for health and safety reasons.

Simon Kidwell, headteachers at Hartford Manor Primary in Cheshire, told the BBC they would scrap uniform policy on Monday and Tuesday to help keep children cool.

Met Office issues warning for 'unprecedented' level of heat to come

Other schools have adapted opening hours and rescheduled sports days.

The Department for Education has told schools they must  "make sure they take any steps necessary to make sure children are safe and comfortable".

Lessons with ‘vigorous physical activity’ should be avoided and pupils should wear loose, light coloured clothes and sun hats.

Teaching unions have said heat generating equipment like computers and ovens should be avoided.

Kevin Courtney, NEU joint general secretary, said that "in some cases, heads may decide that their school needs to close fully or partially during the red weather warning".

Widespread school closures are ‘unlikely’, the NAHT union said.