Schools urged to allow children to wear warm clothing as classroom temperatures drop due to Covid ventilation rules


Children are freezing in cold classrooms, parents have warned.

The Glasgow City Parents Group (GCPG) said that it had been contacted by a number of parents whose children had been told they were not allowed to wear jackets, scarves and hats in class that were not in school colours, despite a drop in temperature over the past week.

Schools have been advised by the Scottish Government to keep classroom windows open as often as possible in a bid to improve ventilation to help stem the spread of Covid.

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The GCPG said: “We understand that schools want to maintain high uniform standards, but for these colder winter months and with the current Covid guidance, please be flexible with your uniform policy to keep pupils warm.

“This week there is a drop in temperature. Allow jackets, scarves and hats in class and if a pupil’s jumper is not in the school’s colors but keeps them warm for learning, isn’t that more important?”

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Last week, the Education Secretary put forward proposals in Holyrood to tackle poor ventilation posing a Covid-19 threat in schools – which included spending £300,000 chopping the bottom off classroom doors.

Parents took to Twitter to express their anger over the situation.

One parent wrote: “My son shivered in a shirt last year as he had the wrong color jumper and wasn’t allowed to wear his jacket despite it being technically the right colour. Lots of phone calls with the headteacher who would not back down. Policy hasn’t changed this year, it’s just ridiculous.”

Another man wrote: “Leaving a child cold over a jumper color makes me wonder whose needs are being met here, because it’s not the child’s.”

Scottish Conservative shadow minister for children and young people, Meghan Gallacher, said: “This situation is completely unacceptable. We know ventilation is a key mitigation against the spread of Covid, but we simply cannot have kids sitting freezing in our classrooms.

“Instead of bonkers plans to cut the bottom of doors off, Nicola Sturgeon should be focusing on safe and sensible ventilation plans and ensuring our schools give sensible leeway on normal uniform regulation to allow our kids to feel comfortable as they learn.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “Our schools and staff have been working extremely hard in challenging circumstances during the pandemic to balance delivering a quality education while following the advice and guidance to help suppress the virus.

“Our hope and expectation is that staff will be flexible during the winter months to make sure classrooms are both ventilated to reduce the risk of covid but also that children and young people are dressed appropriately to be comfortable.

“In fact, last year we launched a city wide appeal for warm clothing to be donated by members of the public to be distributed to our families in need and it was very well supported with clothing delivered to schools and nurseries across Glasgow.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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