Procedures for Managing Extreme Temperatures in ACT Public Schools

Procedures for Managing Extreme Temperatures in ACT Public Schools

The procedures should be read in conjunction with the ACT Education & Training Directorate's policy on Temporary Closure of Schools

Responsibility for Managing Extreme Temperatures

1.1 Principals and Infrastructure and Capital Works Branch have the joint responsibility to manage the thermal comfort of staff and students during times of expected extreme temperatures.

1.2. Support for this process is provided by school network leaders, health safety representatives in schools, the Directorate’s Health Safety and Wellbeing Team and Shared Services Work Health and Safety.

2.3 The Staff and Students have the responsibility to inform the principal of thermal comfort issues and to follow reasonable directions in managing situations where a safe, healthy and supportive work environment is impacted by extreme temperatures.

What To Do On Days Over 30 Degrees

"The principal will... implement the site specific extreme temperature management plan with school Health and Safety Representatives to manage, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of staff and students during days when temperatures in excess of 30°C are forecast, including:

  • optimise ventilation, air movement and shade
  • use additional fans or coolers
  • provide regular access to water
  • rotate classes around cooler areas on site
  • adjust educational programs to minimise potential for heat stress
  • limit playground access to shaded areas
  • limit access to areas on site affected by extreme temperatures
  • adjust school uniform requirements.

What To Do If Extreme Temperatures Persist

4.12. If the principal makes the assessment that the site specific extreme temperature management plan is no longer effective in maintaining a safe, healthy and supportive work environment for staff and students, the principal will:
• consult further with the Directorate’s Health Safety and Wellbeing Team
• consider an alternative location for those affected
• ensure that any staff or students affected by heat/cold stress are continually monitored.

Temporary closure of the school

4.13. On the basis of evidence that the site poses a risk to the safety of staff and students, the Director-General, an Emergency Management Directorate Liaison Officer or the School Network Leader may authorise the principal to temporarily close the school to staff and students by activating the attached Expected High Temperature Temporary Closure Checklist.

Health & Safety Representatives and Sub-branch leaders are encouraged to seek support from the AEU office team (6272 7900, to help you in ensuring your school environment is safe for you and your students. 

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