More school closures announced as 'extreme heat' sets in

Heartsease Primary Academy. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Heartsease Primary Academy is closed from 12.30pm today - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

A new raft of school closures have been announced in Norfolk ahead of the extreme heat expected today.

More than 10 schools have announced plans to close in the county due to the predicted temperatures. 

Records were broken in the county yesterday (July 18) when mercury levels rose to 37.1C in Marham, beating the previous high of 36.5C, in the same village in 2019.

Downham Market Academy was in special measures when it transferred to a new trust in 2017. Picture:

Downham Market Academy will be closed on Tuesday - Credit: Ian Burt

But this is predicted to be trumped today with parts of Norfolk expecting highs of 41C.

The heatwave led to the closures of several schools in Norfolk on Monday (July 18), including one where the artificial turf in the playground reached 50C.

And some schools in west Norfolk were forced to close due to ongoing issues with water supply in the area

These are the schools that have said they will be closed on Tuesday (July 19) due to the heatwave: 

  • Aurora Eccles School (NR16 2NZ)
  • City Academy Norwich (NR4 7LP) 
  • Downham Market Academy (PE38 9LL) 
  • Future Education (NR5 8EG)
  • Heartsease Primary Academy (NR7 9UE) - Half Day close from 12:30pm
  • Hillcrest Primary School (PE38 9ND)
  • Howard Junior School (PE30 4QJ)
  • Iceni Academy - Methwold Site (Secondary) (IP26 4PE)
  • John Grant School (NR30 5QW) - Partially closed
  • Lingwood Primary Academy (NR13 4AZ) - Half day school closure from 1pm
  • Nelson Academy (PE38 9PF)
  • Pulham CE Primary School (IP21 4SZ)
  • West Walton Community Primary School (PE14 7HA)
  • Wicklewood Primary School And Nursery (NR18 9QJ)  - Closing for the afternoon

The schools are expected to reopen on Wednesday and many have arranged online learning for pupils.

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The majority of the schools cited "unsafe" conditions for students due to the extreme heat.

Howard Junior School has closed due to the scaffolding around the school getting hot and posing a risk to children.

At Pulham CE Primary School, it is closed due to a high risk of an LPG gas tank 'venting' gas, making the school unsafe.

Nelson Academy in Downham Market has submitted plans to west Norfolk Council for a new classroom. Pi

Nelson Academy has announced it will close on Tuesday - Credit: Ian Burt

In a letter sent to parents on Monday, City Academy interim headteacher Jenny Comber said they considered several factors and the decision to close the school "was not taken lightly". 

She said: "The government’s declaration of a level four UKHSA heat health alert for all of England, the likely disruption to public transport and the likely pressure on health services.

"For example, local ambulance services have declared a black alert (their highest alert level) as such there will be tremendous pressure on services should any student or staff member require an ambulance they likely would not get one.

"Our buildings are not air conditioned neither are they well suited for cooling when the outside temperature is very high.

"Early closures were considered but we did not think it safe or sensible to send children on to public transport or to walk home in the middle of the day."