School temperatures: guidance

Workplaces, including classrooms, must be kept at a 'reasonable' temperature. Read guidance on maximum and minimum temperatures, including recommendations from unions.

Last reviewed on 6 October 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3036
  1. There's no legal minimum or maximum temperature
  2. Use previous regulations as a guideline
  3. Carry out a workplace temperature check
  4. See guidance from unions

There's no legal minimum or maximum temperature

Schools should follow government guidance on workplace temperatures, which requires a 'reasonable' indoor temperature. For classrooms (i.e. places where people aren't doing physical work) the guidance says this is 16ºC. 

There's no guidance on maximum temperature, but your emergency or critical incident plan must cover 'severe weather' - for example, heatwaves.

You have a legal duty to make sure classrooms are a 'reasonable' temperature

This is set out in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (section 7). 

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974  requires employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their staff and others. Classrooms and other school spaces that are too hot or too cold may put the health of