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Pupils left ‘shivering’ and told they cannot wear coats in ‘cold’ classrooms

PUBLISHED: 10:14 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:30 01 October 2020

Pupils at Wymondham High Academy have been told they cannot wear coats in classrooms - where windows are being kept open amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Pupils at Wymondham High Academy have been told they cannot wear coats in classrooms - where windows are being kept open amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2015

Parents claim their children came home from school “shivering” after being told they could not wear coats in classrooms - where windows are being kept open amid the coronavirus crisis.

Jonathan Rockey, principal at Wymondham High Academy, says the school's classrooms are Jonathan Rockey, principal at Wymondham High Academy, says the school's classrooms are "well heated". Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Pupils at Wymondham High Academy were told putting on their coats would “be a distraction to the rest of the class”.

The school said it was “not necessary” to wear jackets as its rooms were “well heated”.

Government guidance dictates that classrooms should be well ventilated, with the presence of fresh air proven to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

A sudden drop in temperature has left children expressing a desire to wear extra layers, but their pleas have apparently fallen on deaf ears at the Wymondham secondary school.

Speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk, parent Charlotte Brannan Milito said she understood the regulations, but added that common sense needed to prevail after her two children returned home “shivering” and “almost blue” with cold.

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“On Friday this became an issue,” she said. “They both shared their experiences of how they had asked if they could put their coats on and they were told that they couldn’t.

“The teacher said putting on a coat would be a distraction to the rest of the class. I was shocked - my youngest said he was so cold he couldn’t even talk because his teeth were chattering.

“I understand why the windows were open and I completely support and commend the school on how well they have put all the guidance into place and how everything is running - I don’t have any qualms with that at all.

“It’s just that I really do feel if a child is uncomfortable and they feel cold, I don’t think putting on a coat is going to cause distraction.”

Explaining Wymondham High’s policy on wearing coats in the classroom, principal Jonathan Rockey said: “The weather last week turned from summer to winter in a matter of a few days.

“Teaching staff were given discretion as to whether or not pupils required a coat depending on the temperature of the classroom.

“It’s not necessary for pupils to wear coats at the moment as our rooms are well heated but, as part of our risk assessment, our systems are reviewed fortnightly. If/when it is necessary to make any changes, we will consider the best course of action.”


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