The government has issued an update to parents over whether schools will close as part of measures during the UK heatwave.

The Met Office has warned that people’s lives could be at risk as it indicated it is likely that a new UK record temperature could be set early next week.

Meteorologists gave an 80% chance of the mercury topping the UK’s record temperature of 38.7C (101.7F) set in Cambridge in 2019, with the current heatwave set to peak on Tuesday.

The UK Health Security Agency has increased its heat health warning from level three to level four – a “national emergency”.

Level four is reached “when a heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system… At this level, illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups,” it said.

The Northern Echo: Weather warnings for extreme heat in England and Wales. (PA)Weather warnings for extreme heat in England and Wales. (PA)

Government update on whether schools will close amid UK heatwave

The government has said school closures are not being discussed as part of heatwave contingency plans.

A spokesman from No.10 said: "Different sectors and different professions may have different staffing requirements, it wouldn't be for me to set out a broad policy for everybody, that would be a matter for individuals and their employers."

Downing Street is yet to issue any guidance around working from home during extreme temperatures.

Can schools send children home?

Schools follow the same regulations as workplaces. Under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, Employers have alegal obligation to ensure that the temperature in the workplace is “reasonable”.

Despite the guidance under law, the government has not specified a specific temperature in the workplace which would mean employees, or in this case, students, are sent home.

Ultimately it is up to the employer or school to decide whether the temperature in the workplace is suitable for workers or students.