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To be outraged most schools in Queensland Australia have no airconditioning.

(107 Posts)
Mammasmitten Sun 22-Apr-18 13:12:39

I live in Queensland, Australia and for most of the year it is an average temperature of 30 degrees celsius or higher. Summer is insanely hot. My DD is due to start school next year and I am seriously researching homeschool options as I just can't make her sit all day in a stinking hot classroom risking heatstroke and other heat related illnesses. AIBU to be angry that despite a decade of petitioning, teachers and students are denied cooling for their classrooms and are expected to work in extreme heat. Our prisons are air-conditioned, why the hell aren't our schools.

jpgirl Sun 22-Apr-18 13:13:44

Same in Japan. They think it’s character building.

SilverBirchTree Sun 22-Apr-18 13:14:20

I don’t see what prisons have to do with it.

But yes, schools should be air conditioned in Queensland. Have you written to your MP about it?

Or to Barnaby Joyce? He’ll be doing the school drop off for some time yet grin

Bettiedraper Sun 22-Apr-18 13:15:43

You aren't BU but this seems like something you'd need to take up with your government.

specialsubject Sun 22-Apr-18 13:18:17

Seems a daft place for human habitation. Like much of australia, not sustainable.

Mammasmitten Sun 22-Apr-18 13:20:38

P.s. here's a link to an article about it.

BarbarianMum Sun 22-Apr-18 13:21:44

Is Queensland not a democracy? If all parents think like you, why has it not happened? Is it a matter of the powers that be not thinking it necessary, or finance, or what?

QueenofSerene Sun 22-Apr-18 13:25:22

Is there nothing in the school contract about this? I grew up in NSW in schools during the 90's and if it hit a certain degree we'd be sent home because there was no air con back then.. surely QLD schools would have provisions (or air con now that it's so prevalent) in place?

Mammasmitten Sun 22-Apr-18 13:34:19

Yes, many of us have petitioned for school classrooms to be air-conditioned. It's falling on deaf ears. I think it's a health and safety issue because of the level of heat, humidity and that heatwaves, are lasting longer and with fewer cool changes, are unrelenting. Teachers are measuring how hot it is in the classroom and are saying it gets as hot as 42 degrees Celsius. That's pretty high. Silverbirchtree my point about prisons is that if we can spend money on air-conditioning our prisons, surely we could equally extend the same standards for our children and teachers. Do they not have the same basic human rights? School attendance is compulsory, unless you're registered for home or distance education. Children can't just leave the classroom because it's too hot, they have to stay in there.

Mammasmitten Sun 22-Apr-18 13:41:18

BarbarianMum democracy: sometimes I wonder. QueenofSerene, No, Queensland schools do not have this policy. Following is a copy and paste from Queensland government website: Managing excessive heat in schools
During very hot and extreme heat conditions, students, staff and the school community are at greater risk of health problems. These can be specific heat-related illnesses or a worsening of existing medical conditions. Health risks are greater when high temperatures combine with increased humidity.
Do schools remain open?

Yes. Unless the Principal or Regional Director determines that the school must temporarily close due to a disaster or emergency situation, Queensland state schools remain open and students are not sent home during periods of excessive heat or heatwave conditions. Staff manage risks associated with excessive heat at schools through a variety of strategies.

ThanksForAllTheFish Sun 22-Apr-18 13:47:29

Your link just takes me to the home page rather than an article.

Mammasmitten Sun 22-Apr-18 13:50:03

Jpgirl according to some travel websites Japan's average temperature during their hottest month is only 26 degrees Celsius so not really comparable.

Mammasmitten Sun 22-Apr-18 13:52:10

Thanksforallthefish, thanks I'll try it again. Luv the user name by the way grin

ittakes2 Sun 22-Apr-18 13:53:06


Heighwayqueen Sun 22-Apr-18 13:54:39

I know! I went to one! My school was built up high so the breeze and cooler air could come up from underneath and there was a fair bit of shade for break times. It does get hot but 1000's of kids survuve it. I also lived in the Blue Mountains where the winters are absolutely freezing and the school had no heaters. We survived.
I guess the biggest issue is cost, where do the $$$ come?
Are the private schools more likely to have air con?

Mammasmitten Sun 22-Apr-18 13:55:31

Hope this link works

HoppingPavlova Sun 22-Apr-18 14:12:25

Will start by saying I went to a few schools in northern NSW in my youth, in the days before air con was ‘a thing’. They all had ceiling fans though. We survived and when it hit 40degC they would send kids home. Spent high school in Sydney, no heating, no cooling.

My kids have been through school in Sydney. They had air con. Know why? P&C. The P&C pays for air con and negotiates with the school as yo whether this will also involve a commitment to chip in increased electricity costs each year in the future.

So, join the P&C if you are not already a member. It’s difficult, I’ll grant you, hubby and I needed to rearrange work schedules so one of us could attend and one stay home with the younger non-school sibling when our first started but it’s what you do. See if the P&C consider it a priority and if so then work to fund it.

Our P&C funded air con, smart boards (including replacement bulbs which ran into the thousands each year), additional teachers to increase class numbers and decrease class size, an outdoor covered area so kids could line up and have assemblies without sunstroke etc.

Put out the call for any parents who have the skills necessary to write grant applications and if none but someone savvy is willing get the P&C to fund them to go to a course - you get that initial investment back 10-fold within the first two years. We received heaps of funds through grant applications alone but you need someone to seek out who offers them (not widely advertised) and put in quality applications.

Our primary had 400 students and the P&C used to ‘gift’ approx 150K to the school each year. That was a school with most families with two working parents, extremely limited time but who made this stuff a priority.

jpgirl Sun 22-Apr-18 16:02:33

Summers in Japan push 40 degrees and the humidity levels are alarming.

The northern, cooler island of Hokkaido brings down the country’s overall average.

Mammasmitten Sun 22-Apr-18 17:10:31

HoppingPavlova, you have written some things to consider. However, I did write that my DD is due to commence school next year. This isn't just about me or my dd. I grew up in Queensland and went to school with ceiling fans too. But times have changed. Heatwaves are hotter and lasting longer then a decade or two ago according to detailed records collected by the BOM. Queensland schools do not send children home during 40 degree heat. See above post where I cut and pasted from Qld government website. I have read a number of articles representing a growing number of concerned parents. There have been parents that have offered to pay for the air-conditioning but the school has still refused. Something isn't right about all this.

charlestonchaplin Sun 22-Apr-18 17:46:39

Most schools in Africa have no air conditioning. The electricity supply is erratic too so there is often no relief from fans either.

LockedOutOfMN Sun 22-Apr-18 17:51:46

Are they at school during the hottest part of the day? Here in Spain no aircon but school ends at 2pm in June (in the hot parts of the country) so kids leave just before the temperatures hit the daily peak.

BarbarianMum Sun 22-Apr-18 18:10:04

That's true charles but I don't think it promotes learning or is anything to aspire to. Its just yet another obstacle for them to overcome.

Degustibusnonestdisputandem1 Sun 22-Apr-18 18:11:57

I went to school in rural Victoria, we had no air con and survived! I will say though, on 40C plus days the concentration levels dropped considerably!

HoppingPavlova Mon 23-Apr-18 03:39:09

I'll bet that parents who have offered to pay have only offered to put their hand in their pocket for the initial outlay of purchase and installation and not thought about ongoing running costs. If the school can't afford the bills, which in QLD should only be 6 months worth (summer and possibly spring/autumn shoulders) unless far north, then what's the point of having it? That actually seems crueler having it sitting there for the kids to look at but not able to use.

If there is a firm plan to continue funding that is deemed sustainable then I would jump up and down if a school refused.

Not sure where you are located but I've seen old schools in Rockhampton and further north (now disused) that had pretty good designs .....admittedly unless you had mobility issues. Granted it may not have been quite as hot back in the day but to be fair this was before ceiling fans/portable fans were a thing in schools. The kids all survived! I can't imagine their parents were clamoring to homeschool them due to the issue.

The problems with prisons, and the inequitable comparison to schools is that prisons must be tightly enclosed. You can't open up here and there for cross breezes, they have no ventilation (can't have glass windows, means of open communication etc) and you can't have things like ceiling fans in a lot of areas including cells. Schools don't have any of the restrictions prisons have in this regard so a pointless comparison.

HoppingPavlova Mon 23-Apr-18 03:40:06

Staff manage risks associated with excessive heat at schools through a variety of strategies.

Have you found out what these strategies are?

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