A Herefordshire school will shut early on Monday and will be closed completely on Tuesday because of the heatwave.

John Masefield High School in Ledbury said temperatures in some of its classrooms could reach 45C so is closing for health and safety reasons.

Activities and trips planned for Tuesday are also being cancelled as coaches could become “unbearably hot” for pupils and staff.

In a letter to parents posted on the JMHS website, headteacher Andrew Evans said high temperatures over the past fortnight have been affecting lessons in the school’s main block, which was built in the 1960s, as well as in mobile classrooms and the mathematics block.


“We have been measuring temperatures in these classrooms and have found that by mid to late afternoon the temperature in the classroom is often more than 5C higher than the official temperature recorded by the Met Office,” said Mr Evans.

“We have been impressed with how students have continued to focus on their work and behave well in difficult conditions.

“Equally teachers, have continued to teach high quality lessons and maintain a positive ethos.

'People in the UK are not used to these temperatures'

“We believe that temperatures in classrooms particularly in the Main Block, which has many south facing windows and has a poor design are likely to be between 40C and 45C.

“In the UK people are not used to these temperatures and can suffer from heat stroke and those with underlying medical conditions can become seriously ill.

“I am aware that the weather forecast may change, and this is a risk we are taking. However, I concluded that it was better to act now so that parents and carers can make necessary arrangements.

“We appreciate that cancelling the Challenge Day trips and activities planned for Tuesday is particularly disappointing and we will do all we can to make up for this next academic year.”

Full details of the plans for Monday and Tuesday at the school are available on the JMHS website.

Fairfield High School, in the Golden Valley cillage of Peterchurch, has already said it will be closing early at 1pm on Monday and Tuesday.

Headteacher Sue Gaston said that with the high temperatures forecast, children would be sent home early after bosses consulted with other local schools.

The day will start at the normal time, and lunches will still be available, just at an earlier time.

School transport will run at 1pm.

"I am sorry if this causes any inconvenience but we felt a pragmatic approach to the forecast weather conditions was the most sensible approach," she said.

Mrs Gaston also said that boys may go to school in their PE shorts and school polo top or white PE shirt to cope with the hot weather. Girls can wear a skirt and polo top.

Lady Hawkins School in Kington has advised students to not wear their blazers and ties during the hot weather.

A statement on its Facebook page said: "We have been asked about PE kit, but we feel the white shirts will actually be cooler and students will have more than one to last the week so it’ll be easier on parents too."