The UK’s schools and educational facilities are regularly experiencing problems with their heating system which increases the risk of unexpected closure, according to a new report published by Bosch Commercial and Industrial.

Out of sight, out of mind? A report on the heating and hot water challenge in UK schools’, which is available for free at, exposes that the majority of schools spend less than 20% of their maintenance budget on ensuring their heating system is running efficiently. This is despite the fact that up to 50% of a typical school’s energy usage is attributed solely to heating.

Over a third of respondents are concerned with finding the funds for replacement when it comes to resolving heating system breakdowns, which are often seen as unavoidable or unforeseeable.

Pete Mills, Commercial Technical Operations Manager at Bosch Commercial and Industrial, who helped author the report said: “Ultimately, a school without heating and hot water must close, so viewing heating and hot water technologies as much more than ‘out of sight, out of mind’ appliances is essential. With significant cuts to funding and increased pressure to reduce energy consumption, it’s more important than ever for schools to be proactive in tackling their heating and hot water challenges.”

The report goes on to explore how latest condensing boiler technology can significantly reduce running costs, as well as providing details on available grants and effective maintenance schemes.

Pete Mills concludes: “As our report details, it is clear that schools are having to contend with the unreliable systems currently in place and are therefore finding themselves at risk of an unexpected breakdown and unprepared to provide a long-term solution. We hope this report will help schools to enhance their heating comfort and energy performance, and consider a boiler replacement project well ahead of an outdated system letting them down without warning.”

‘Out of sight, out of mind? A report on the heating and hot water challenge in UK schools’ is available to download from:

For more information on Bosch Commercial and Industrial and its range of heating, cooling and hot water technologies, please visit or call 0330 123 3004. Alternatively, follow Bosch Commercial and Industrial on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Bristol organisation shows why playtime is as important as class time

Teachers from five European countries visit ‘OPAL’ schools where improved playtimes have produced impressive results.

Monday 12 February: Last week, 30 delegates from Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary flew to Bristol to get expert advice on playtime management and design from the Bristol-based community interest company Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL).
OPAL supports primary schools to dramatically improve the quality of day-to-day playtimes. Consequential benefits include improvements in lunchtime behaviour, engagement, learning, personal development and physical activity.
The delegates, which included headteachers, teachers, university staff, psychologists and education experts, visited four OPAL Platinum Award primary schools in the area. They met with headteachers and staff who have completely changed their attitude and approach to playtime provision.
Dr Iva Klimešová, a visitor from the Education Department at Palacký University in the Czech Republic, said: “The experience made us all wish to help develop a kind, child-friendly school. It was extremely refreshing to see children in such numbers happy, deeply submerged in play, absolutely natural, themselves. One couldn’t not notice that it wasn’t just the children who looked happy – it was everyone at the scene. It was contagious.”
With many children finding organised PE and sports activities a total turn-off, OPAL is addressing the childhood inactivity crisis by making playtimes fun, active and playful. It supports schools to make the best use of their outdoor space. Shockingly, OPAL has found that schools typically only allow pupils to use 17 per cent of the available outside space for two thirds of the year because of concerns such as getting dirty, injuries and supervision requirements.
Michael Follett, OPAL Director, said: “There are serious consequences to children not having the space, environment and resources to freely play each day. Without excellent playtimes, children lead increasingly sedentary lives, they are less focused on learning when they return to the classroom, and their social development and life skills can be held back. Making playtime a key part of the school day can address all of these issues. That’s why we were delighted to host our European colleagues last week and take the first steps to making sure the OPAL ethos can benefit even more children.”
The visit was part of a project to identify a European ‘kite mark’ for quality, based on the OPAL Programme. OPAL has been recommended by the All Party Parliamentary Group for a Fit and Healthy Childhood, co-chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin, to the UK government as the ‘gold standard’ for play provision in the UK’s 20,000 primary schools.