Holding answer received on 15 March 2019
The Government attaches the highest priority to the safety of pupils and staff. 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.
Sprinklers must be fitted where they are deemed necessary to keep pupils and staff safe, following an assessment of risk at the design stage, or to meet local planning requirements. 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.
The number of new schools built by the Department under the Priority Schools Building Programme and free schools programme by February 2019, was 673. Sprinklers are fitted in 105 of these schools.
On 8 March 2019, the Department issued a call for evidence on its technical guidance, ‘Building Bulletin 100 - Design for fire safety in schools’. The call for evidence is the first stage in a public consultation process, working with technical experts and key stakeholders, to revise and update the guidance.