The government has been accused of a “callous disregard” for pupils’ safety after admitting just 15% of new schools are being built with sprinklers to tackle fires. The BBC reports.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said 105 of the 673 schools built and open by February were fitted with sprinklers.
The government said sprinklers were installed when “considered necessary”.
But the Fire Brigades Union said the government was showing “utter complacency” on fire safety in schools.
“We’ve made it clear that newly-built schools and other high-risk buildings should have sprinkler systems,” added the FBU.
“Sprinklers can assist in the control of a fire in its early stages, limiting damage and giving occupants additional time to escape, as well as reducing the risks faced by firefighters attending the incident.”
Government guidance on safe school design says all new premises should be fitted with sprinklers “except in a few low-risk schools”.
The new data came in response to a question from Labour MP and former teacher Stephanie Peacock, who said: “The ridiculous thing is that we spend far more rebuilding and repairing schools after fires than we would have paid to install sprinklers in the first place.”
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