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Free Schools: Fire Extinguishers

Question for Department for Education

UIN 1175, tabled on 26 June 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which free schools do not have a sprinkler system.

Answered on

5 July 2017

All schools must comply with strict building and fire safety regulations. It has always been the case that where a fire risk assessment required for any new building recommends sprinklers are installed to keep children safe, they must be fitted.

As not all new schools are commissioned by the Department for Education we do not hold data on the number of all new schools that have been built with or without sprinklers installed.

The Department holds information on schools managed centrally by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, under the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP). Of the 260 schools in phase one of the PSBP, 75 schools include sprinkler systems. As schools under phase two of the PSBP are still in the early design stage, it is not yet clear which may require sprinklers at this time.

Until recently, schools developed under the Free Schools programme were managed by the individual Free School proposer groups, via their appointed building contractors. Due to this, the Department does not hold information on the number of Free School buildings with and without sprinklers installed.

All schools must have robust safety plans to follow in the event of a fire and have very strong safety features. This includes the fact that they are not occupied overnight and are generally low rise with multiple exit routes.