Infants school tells children to wear extra layers so it can save money on its £30,000 heating bill

  • Summerhill Infants School, Bristol sent an email with the plea to parents.
  • In an email, they were asked to ensure that their children wore layers at school.
  • This list included measures that were taken to limit rising prices caused by the energy crisis

A school for infants was criticized after it asked children to dress in extra layers so that they could save on heating bills.

Summerhill Infants has told parents it faces bills of more than £30,000 for heating and therefore would be forced to make some changes.

The school staff in Bristol sent parents an email explaining that it would limit heating and reduce hot water usage.

The school also asked that parents bring their children to school dressed in warmer clothes, so they could reduce the cost of fuel.

A parent anonymously stated to BBC that her concern was about the possibility of the decision affecting her child’s asthma.

According to her, “Being cold can really impact her. So I believe that she may become sick.”

Summerhill Infants school (pictured) in Bristol has faced a backlash after asking children to wear extra layers when they're in class - because it is facing energy bills of more than £30,000

Summerhill Infants school (pictured) in Bristol has faced a backlash after asking children to wear extra layers when they’re in class – because it is facing energy bills of more than £30,000

She said, “If she gets sick, I’ll take her out.” I’m able to heat her house at home so it’s not too expensive.

‘If it was something that they asked me to pay £10 [towards]It would be a pleasure to pay you money. “I would gladly give money.”

Another woman called the proposal a ‘ridiculous idea’ and added: ‘I should imagine the absences will go through the roof.

What about children and teachers with asthma? Because of the risk of hypothermia and asthma attacks from cold temperatures, those with lung conditions require higher ambient temperatures.

“I imagine teachers and students will have trouble concentrating in cold classrooms.

In 2016, the school was featured in major media after its teachers barred students from running.

Teachers stated that children were “bumping their heads” and advised that any child caught running against the wall would face a one-minute sentence. 

This latest appeal comes amid a “bloodbath”, in which small energy providers have been forced to collapse, shifting the cost burden onto larger suppliers due to the rising energy prices and energy price caps.

Parents have been split on the appeal with some saying it was reasonable while others have raised concerns about the health of those with breathing conditions such as asthma

There has been some disagreement between parents about this appeal. While some said that it was reasonable, others expressed concern over the well-being of people with asthma or other breathing problems. 

According to reports, 22 of the UK’s 47 energy suppliers have gone into administration this week.

National Education Union claimed that it showed schools are still not receiving enough financial assistance. Robin Head, representative of Robin Head said the reason was lackluster money and increasing fuel costs.

He said, “It exposes the hard and sad truth that schools don’t get enough funding.” This year, teachers haven’t received a raise in their salaries. Budget-wise, schools are in real trouble.

Some parents stated that they were open to the possibility of the school making the changes if it made the environment a little cooler.

One person said, “If they feel the need to be covered up in thick clothing that is fine. It shouldn’t be freezing, I believe. They put the students first. 

A parent said, “We all should do our part to conserve energy and money.”

‘Can you imagine the outcry if the school HAD sent out a begging letter for £10 towards costs?’

Bristol City Council said it was trying to support schools affected by the energy crisis, aiming to extend energy contracts, while the Department for Education has said that core funding for schools will rise by £4.7bn between 2024-2025 to address concerns.

The spokesperson for the council said that in order to support schools, energy services were working hard on trying extend current energy contracts.

Summerhill Infants School was contacted to provide further information.