The sun is blazing in the sky. The temperature is rising. Classrooms are getting hotter, and the air is stuffy. Former generations of schoolchildren in Baden-Württemberg could rely on the fact that there would be “Hitzefrei” which means sending students home to escape the heat, but the situation is different now.
As early as 2019, the Ministry of Education declared that it did not prescribe generally the circumstances for “Hitzefrei”. Individual school administrations are responsible for making this decision. Basically, there is no “Heat-free” at vocational schools and in the upper grades of grammar schools. The benchmark at the other schools depend on the physical well-being of the students, and the local conditions.
The ministry has set a few criteria to help school management make decisions: at 11 a.m., the outside temperature must be at least 25 degrees Celsius in the shade. “Heat-free” is available after the fourth hour at the earliest. Neighboring schools should coordinate and for learner drivers, there must be lounges with supervision until they can drive home.
The State Student Advisory Board (LSBR) dislikes the fact that the individual school administrations can decide about “Hitzefrei”. According to the experience of the LSBR, they often do not use the opportunity to give “heat free”. Therefore, the student representatives asked the Ministry of Education for a “heat-free” regulation for the whole of Baden-Württemberg to guarantee learning success. The LSBR relies on a scientific study that announce: “Performance decreases significantly at room temperatures above 26 degrees.”
Gleißende Sonne. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Martin Klaus.
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