On Air Now
Saturday Breakfast with JK & Kelly Brook 9am - 12pm
12 November 2021, 08:51 | Updated: 12 November 2021, 09:35
A school in Bristol has limited its heating to tackle rising fuel costs.
A primary school has asked pupils to wear warmer clothes while it limits its heating use.
According to reports, Summerhill Infants in St George, Bristol, told parents that it could face bills of more than £30,000 if it didn’t start reducing its energy consumption.
In an email, the school said it will be cutting down the time the heating is on during the school day, as well as turning down thermostats for hot water and turning off lights when not being used.
Summerhill also asked parents to send their kids into the classroom wearing more layers to keep warm through the winter months.
Bristol City Council has since said it is trying to support those schools affected by huge increases in energy bills.
A council spokesperson told the BBC: "To support schools, our energy services are working on trying to extend current energy contracts."
But while many parents have supported the school, some are worried for their children's’ health.
One anonymous parent told the BBC that her daughter suffers from asthma, explaining: "Being in the cold can really affect her, so I think that she can potentially get ill.
“If she starts getting ill I will take her out and because I can provide her heating at home, as much as that's expensive.
"If it was something that they asked me to pay £10, I would pay some money. I would happily provide money."
Another woman predicted ‘absences will be through the roof’, adding: “Children and teachers will find it hard to concentrate in cold classrooms.”
National Education Union representative Robin Head said this is not an isolated incident, and the rising fuel costs will continue to affect schools across the country.
He said: "It uncovers the sad hard truth that schools aren't funded properly enough.
"Teachers have not had a pay rise this year. Schools are really struggling budget wise."
A Department for Education spokesman said: "Core funding for schools will rise by £4.7bn by 2024-25.
"Schools experiencing financial issues can access a range of schools resource management tools, and, in serious circumstances additional funding or advances from local authorities or the ESFA."
Heart.co.uk reached out to Summerhill Infant school and they had no further comment to make.