Schools: Coventry

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th January 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools in Coventry have been (a) built and (b) refurbished as a result of funding from the Education Funding Agency; and how many of those schools have been fitted with sprinkler systems.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

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 is independently checked by Building Control or an Approved Inspector before buildings are occupied.

As not all new schools 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 do hold information on the centrally funded Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP).

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has built or refurbished seven schools in Coventry under phase one of PSBP and of those, five schools were fitted with sprinklers.

The Depatment does not hold comprehensive data on the number of free schools fitted with sprinklers 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 ESFA.

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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