* but when these are used for exams they would fall into the category of areas where there is an average level of clothing and activity (ie classrooms and therefore 18o C).
The temperature in circulation spaces shall be no more than 3o C below those areas that they serve.
Standards for schools derive from Design note 17 of 1975 and School Building Regulations 1981. These lay down a temperature of 18oC in classrooms. Based on this piece of legislation the Unions concluded a code of practice with their employer (LEA)agreeing temperatures which should prevail from the start of directed time to its conclusion. The agreement covers classrooms, staffrooms and all the places teachers normally work.
Should classrooms fail to reach the required temperatures there is a variety of courses of action. The Union will support members in refusing to work in classrooms that are not adequately heated. We strongly advise members and representatives to consult the union office should a heating problem persist and not be resolved satisfactorily and speedily.
Temperatures should be monitored in any classroom or other area with heating problems on a twice daily basis at the same time each day in order to provide evidence of the problem. Record the temperature on the chart available at the link below which can be printed off. The Workplace Regulations require that a sufficient number of thermometers should be available, at a convenient distance from any part of the workplace, to enable temperatures to be measured in any part of the workplace.
The union has recently called on the Government to legislate on maximum temperatures.
The NUT's policy on maximum temperatures is that they should not exceed 26oC for anything other than very short periods.
The World Health Organisation's recommended limit on working temperatures is 24oC.
There is a requirement in The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 for all employers to take all reasonable steps in order to achieve a reasonably comfortable work environment. Cost cannot be used as an excuse for inaction.
Click here for the Bradford Joint Teachers' Unions Guide about what to do when Heating and Cooling Strategies are ineffective. Joint Union Guidance
Climate control refers to the control of temperature and relative humidity for human comfort, health and safety in buildings and other enclosed spaces.
Humans are sensitive to humid air because the human body uses evaporative cooling as the primary mechanism to regulate temperature. Under humid conditions, the rate at which perspiration evaporates on the skin is lower than it would be under arid conditions. Because humans perceive the rate of heat transfer from the body rather than temperature itself we feel warmer when the relative humidity is high than when it is low.
For example, if the air temperature is 24 °C (75 °F) and the relative humidity is zero percent, then the air temperature feels like 21 °C (69 °F). If the relative humidity is 100 percent at the same air temperature, then it feels like 27 °C (80 °F). In other words, if the air is 24 °C and contains saturated water vapor, then the human body cools itself at the same rate as it would if it were 27 °C and dry. The heat index is the index that reflects the combined effect of temperature and humidity on the cooling effect of the atmosphere on the human body.
When controlling the climate in buildings using HVAC systems the key is to control the relative humidity in a comfortable range - low enough to be comfortable but high enough to avoid problems associated with very dry air.
When the temperature is high and the relative humidity is low, evaporation of water is rapid; soil dries, wet clothes hung on a line or rack dry quickly, and perspiration readily evaporates from the skin. Wooden furniture can shrink causing the paint that covers these surfaces to fracture.
When the temperature is high and the relative humidity is high, evaporation of water is slow. When relative humidity approaches 100 percent, condensation can occur on surfaces, leading to problems with mold, corrosion, decay, and other moisture-related deterioration.
Humans are very sensitive to humidity, as the skin relies on the air to get rid of moisture. The process of sweating is your body's attempt to keep cool and maintain its current temperature. If the air is at 100-percent relative humidity, sweat will not evaporate into the air. As a result, we feel much hotter than the actual temperature when the relative humidity is high. If the relative humidity is low, we can feel much cooler than the actual temperature because our sweat evaporates easily, cooling us off. For example, if the air temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) and the relative humidity is zero percent, the air temperature feels like 69 degrees Fahrenheit (21 C) to our bodies. If the air temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 C) and the relative humidity is 100 percent, we feel like it's 80 degrees (27 C) out.
People tend to feel most comfortable at a relative humidity of about 45 percent.
Humidifiers and dehumidifiers help to keep indoor humidity at a comfortable level.
If all else fails to maintain a bearable atmosphere, steps such as closing classrooms which are unacceptably hot and teaching classes elsewhere, or even sending children home, may need to be considered.
The Union will support members in refusing to work in classrooms that are not adequately ventilated.
We strongly advise members and representatives to consult the union office should a ventilation problem persist and not be resolved satisfactorily and speedily.
Temperatures should be monitored in any classroom or other area with ventilation problems on a twice daily basis at the same time each day in order to provide evidence of the problem. Record the temperature on the chart available at the link above which can be printed off. The Workplace Regulations require that a sufficient number of thermometers should be available, at a convenient distance from any part of the workplace, to enable temperatures to be measured in any part of the workplace.