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UK schools struggle amid soaring energy bills, cost of living

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Nov 19, 2022 - 01:44 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – Soaring energy bills and the rising cost of living in the UK are being felt in schools across the country, with some experts warning that pupils might have to wear coats in classrooms, British media outlets reported Thursday.

Richard Evans, the CEO of Vale Academy Trust, which is responsible for eight schools in Oxford and Abingdon, said that the staff and students at a group of schools are facing a “hard choice” between teaching and heating.

“I don’t want to be sensationalist but it’s about reducing the time the heating is on, restricting the heating is an option we have to explore,” Evans was quoted by the BBC as saying.

“We haven’t as a trust decided yet what we have to do. But we might have to ask children to wear their coats in classrooms too, like we did in Covid times.”

He said that each primary school is facing an increase of £40,000 ($47,575) in heating and staffing costs, adding: “And for the secondary schools it’s in the region of £300,000 each, depending on staff numbers.”

Telling how the school budgets were set in April and so do not take into account the record 11.1% inflation, Evans said: “We have a rising number of children with special needs and they have to be supported, so we have to employ more staff, so those costs are going up.”

Britain’s Treasury chief on Thursday confirmed that Britain is officially in recession.

On Wednesday, it was announced that inflation hit a 41-year-high at 11.1%, further escalating an already bitter cost-of-living crisis.

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