Chichester pupils ‘suffering’ due to ‘boiling hot’ classroom temperatures, parent says

Pupils at a Chichester school are ‘suffering’ due to ‘boiling hot’ temperatures inside their classrooms, according to a parent.

Parents and pupils outside Parklands Community School
Parents and pupils outside Parklands Community School

Louise Wade said the county council should do more to manage the ‘out of control’ heat inside the new building at Parklands Community School in Durnford Close during periods of warm weather.

She said her nine-year-old daughter had been left ‘very sleepy, very lethargic’ and ‘feeling sick’ due to the classroom conditions.

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“My daughter came out last week and you could see she was really tired, she looked exhausted,” Louise said. “She said ‘mummy I’m so hot’.

Parklands Community School in Chichester

“A lot of people have said they’ve had the same problem with their children.

“You only have to stand on the playground and you can see the sweat pouring off them.”

Louise, who also has a ten-year-old son at the school, said she feared it was affecting their education.

“How can they learn in that kind of environment?” she said. “They are more focused on trying to cool down rather than on what the teachers are teaching them.”

West Sussex County Council provided the school with fans last year to try and manage the temperatures, but Louise said these were not effective.

“They just seem to be pushing the hot air around,” she said.

She said the council had apparently advised the school to leave the windows open overnight to try and cool the rooms down, but she said: “That’s not really safe for the school.”

Louise said the county council should install air conditioning in the school building to make it more comfortable for pupils and staff.

“If there’s a cheaper option available then they should go for that, but anything is better than what they’ve got at the moment,” she said.

“If we wouldn’t do it to a dog stuck in a car, why are the council allowing it to happen to our children?”

A spokesman for the governing body of Parklands Community School said it was continuing to discuss the temperature regulation of the classrooms with the council.

“The Governing Body recognises that during this warmer weather the temperature of the new building has risen again, causing some discomfort to children and staff,” the spokesman said.

“West Sussex County Council provided fans for use in the school last year and staff will continue to use these to help regulate the temperatures, where possible children spending learning time in the outside shaded space.

“The children are continually being encouraged to drink plenty of water and we continue to discuss the temperature regulation of the classrooms with West Sussex County Council.”

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We provide schools with general advice on ways to reduce the impact of extreme temperatures when they occur and support schools in taking pragmatic measures to create the best possible conditions for pupils and staff.

“With regards to Parklands, during last summer’s heatwave we provided a number of fans to help reduce temperatures being experienced.

“We also visited the school to monitor temperatures and we continue to work with school staff to offer advice on managing classroom conditions.”