Turn the school heating down by 1°C

Chadwell St Mary Primary School, Monday, 14 November 2022
30 Change-maker KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5

What you did

this has been done via the boiler controls and the radiator control valves.

Activity description

Before carrying out this activity make sure you have carried out a period of monitoring classroom temperatures, so that you know how warm your school is. You can record this as an Energy Sparks activity . Record temperatures directly onto our website using the link on the pupil dashboard.  You may also want to  check with pupils and staff whether they are too hot, too cold or just right throughout the day.

The best temperatures for schools are: 

  • Normal classrooms: 18°C
  • Corridors: 15°C
  • Areas with high levels of activity (e.g. sports halls): 15°C
  • Areas with low levels of activity: 21°C
  • Special needs schools or areas with very young children: 21°C

After you have monitored temperatures across the school, ask your caretaker or site manager what temperature the main heating thermostats are set to. Do your recorded temperatures around the school match the heating control temperature? Often temperatures in classrooms are higher than the heating system set temperature  because the main heating system thermostat is located in an area of the school which is hard to heat. This is often the school hall which can be a large, poorly insulated space,  or the main entrance area of the school which is prone to cold drafts from opening doors.  If you find this is the case,  you could try reducing the heating system set temperature to lower than 18°C, and continue to monitor classroom temperatures and comfort levels. 

If your thermostat controls are set higher than the above levels, ask your caretaker to turn them down 1 degree C.  Remember to check to see whether pupils or staff are still comfortable with the new temperatures - most times they won't even have noticed!

For KS2 children, you can also do some maths to work out how much you might save the school by turning the temperature down. For every 1 degree C you reduce the temperature you save the school about 10% of its heating costs. An average primary school uses about £5,000 of gas per year. Try to work out how much you might save, if you reduced the temperature in your school by 2 degrees C?