Tuesday, January 10, 2012
A Somerset head teacher landed themselves in hot water last Friday after they turned off the school radiators as part of an environmental “experiment.”
Parents and teachers complained bitterly that the radiators were turned off during one of the coldest days of the year at Ansford Academy in Castle Cary. Instead, pupils were urged to bring plenty of layers of jumpers, coats, scarves and gloves into school in order to see if the academy could reduce its carbon footprint.
One furious mother complained that her 12-year-old daughter had returned home physically shaking from the cold, while an unnamed teacher condemned the stunt as “barbaric,” telling the Daily Mail newspaper that “the kids were complaining, no one was working properly. Some of them could not even write because they could not grip a pen through woolly gloves.”
On the day in question, the Met Office said that temperatures at nearby Yeovilton were between just 12.2 degrees Celsius and a freezing 0.8 degrees Celsius
But head teacher Rob Benzie defended the experiment, saying that it was mooted by the Student Eco Group and school buildings did not drop below 18 degrees in temperature throughout the day.
“Earlier last year students wanted to do something that saved energy during the winter and proposed a Jumpers Friday when we would turn off the heating and everyone would be able to wear more jumpers,” he told the paper.
“Friday was the first trial of that. It was really good. We had one anonymous person who went to the Health and Safety Executive but they didn’t have an issue. One member of staff said it was colder but these buildings are solid and double-glazed and they retain heat very well.”