Schools: Fire Extinguishers:Written question - 120438

Q
Asked by Stephen Timms
(East Ham)
[N]
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Asked on: 19 December 2017
Department for Education
Schools: Fire Extinguishers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools in (a) England and Wales, (b) Greater London and (c) the London Borough of Newham have sprinkler systems fitted.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 08 January 2018

The Government takes the safety of pupils and staff seriously. All schools have to follow strict fire safety regulations, including having a Fire Risk Assessment, designed to ensure they are as safe as possible and well prepared in the event of a fire.

Where sprinklers are deemed necessary to keep pupils and staff safe, following an assessment of risk at the design stage, or to meet local planning requirements, they must be fitted. All new school building projects must comply with Building Regulations, including on fire safety, and this must be independently checked by Building Control or an Approved Inspector before buildings are occupied.

As not all new schools in England are commissioned by the Department, we do not hold data on the number of all new schools that have been built with or without sprinklers installed. The Department does hold information on the centrally funded Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP). This programme covers schools in England only. The devolved National Assembly for Wales is responsible for schools in Wales.

In England, 74 schools in total have had, or are planned to have, sprinklers fitted under the PSBP phase one. In London two schools have had sprinklers fitted under the PSBP phase one. In Newham there are no schools that have had sprinklers fitted under PSBP phase one.

The Department does not hold comprehensive data on the number of free schools fitted with sprinklers in England, or London as schools developed under the free schools programme were originally managed by the individual free school proposer groups. The Department is doing further work that will enable us to provide figures on sprinklers fitted in all schools delivered centrally by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Alongside the rest of Government, the Department will take forward findings from the independent review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, and from the Public Inquiry into the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.

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