Campaigning for cladding checks and sprinklers

Education Business reports that following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, school unions have called for the government to survey all schools for combustible cladding and to fit all schools with fire sprinklers

The National Education Union (NEU), National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), and Association of School & College Leaders (ASCL) have published joint guidance for school leaders on fire risk assessments in schools in the light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

This has understandably caused widespread concern throughout the education sector about how many school buildings have cladding which is not fire resistant. Pupils, parents, staff and the wider community who use educational buildings need reassurance that they are not being exposed to a similar fire risk.

Now is a good time for schools to consider fire safety issues more broadly and to revisit fire risk assessments in the light of what happened at Grenfell Tower.

To assist school leaders in understanding the risks to schools and how best to address these, the NEU, NAHT and ASCL have published joint guidance to answer common questions and advise on how best to review fire risk assessments to ensure that children and staff are kept safe.

The NEU, NAHT and ASCL are calling upon the government to survey all school buildings to determine whether any inappropriate cladding has been used in their construction. Given that nearly 90 per cent of schools also contain asbestos, the DfE should also use this survey to establish the location and condition of all asbestos in our schools to prevent any exposure to this deadly material.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “In the aftermath of the appalling fire at Grenfell Tower, attention has rightly focused on others who could be at risk, including children and school staff. We have campaigned successfully to stop the government weakening guidance on school fire safety.”

Read the full article Campaigning for cladding checks and sprinklers

Has your school reviewed it’s fire risk assessments since the Grenfell Tower fire? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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