A new report by US academics has found that students do not do so well when it is a very hot summer. Academics at Harvard, UCLA and Georgia State University used the scores of more than 10 million secondary students over 13 years, and compared temperature changes in hot southern and colder northern states. In every case, a half-degree rise in the average temperature over the year equalled a 1% drop in average exam scores. The report found that air conditioning slightly buffered the softened the out come, however that will not be of much comfort to UK students as it is very rare to find a school with air conditioning here.
So should we change the school year to one when students are not potentially sweltering, or occupied with sporting events. I remember during my A levels England played Holland and won, a rare event. This preoccupied the whole of the common room and dear reader I had two exams the next day and possibly did not do my best. However it is actually quite complicated to change the academic year - as universities follow it, as do large firms and of course Westminster - who I imagine look forward to their long summer recess.
The comfort for students is that in the UK we have a system where by all students sit the same exams at the same time and grades are set by an average - so even if they do not do as well as expected due to un-seasonal heat - every one should be at least be effected equally and should not do any long term damage!