Chilly atmosphere in exam hall

PUPILS at an Ipswich high school have been forced to take exams wrapped up in their coats because the room they use is so cold.Thurleston High School year 11 students are currently taking mock GCSEs in the sports hall - but are finding it a chilling experience.

PUPILS at an Ipswich high school have been forced to take exams wrapped up in their coats because the room they use is so cold.

Thurleston High School year 11 students are currently taking mock GCSEs in the sports hall - but are finding it a chilling experience.

Temperatures in the hall have only just reached the legal minimum this week, and the youngsters have been advised to wear their coats while taking the exams.

Headteacher Mike Everett said he was checking the temperature regularly and it was remaining at about 16 degrees celsius.

One mother had claimed that the temperature had fallen as low as nine degrees - which was denied by Mr Everett.

He said: “There is nothing wrong with the heating, it is very difficult to make a large area like the sports hall warm.

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“The heating is turned on at 5am every day and we do our best to make the room warm, but it isn't easy in this cold weather - hopefully the rest of the week should be a bit milder.”

Mr Everett said that when the room was full of 170 students taking their mock GCSEs, the temperature rose.

“It isn't ideal, but we think it is important to give them a taste of real exam conditions before they take their GCSEs for real in the summer.

“We don't have these problems with the temperature then - and these mocks are not actually part of the examination process itself,” he said.

Schools and other work premises in Ipswich have been on alert about temperatures after pet shop Barnard Bros, of Woodbridge Road, was fined last month for operating at a temperature below the legal limit of 16 degrees.

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