Schools: Fires

Department for Education written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Christian Wakeford Christian Wakeford Conservative, Bury South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average cost to the public purse has been of the relocation of and travel for pupils following school fires in each financial year since 2015-16.

Photo of Christian Wakeford Christian Wakeford Conservative, Bury South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of a school building fire on the attainment of pupils at the school.

Photo of Christian Wakeford Christian Wakeford Conservative, Bury South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department makes assessments of the effect of school fires on levels of educational attainment.

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

The Department does not collect information on the average cost of the relocation of and travel for pupils following school fires, although additional transport and travel costs would typically be covered through the business interruption element of a school’s insurance cover.

The Department has not made an assessment of the effect of a fire on the attainment of pupils at the school and does not make assessments of the effect of fires on levels of educational attainment.

The Department attaches the highest priority to the safety of pupils and staff, and to ensuring that the owners of school buildings take the necessary action to protect those buildings. Schools must comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which means they must have an up to date fire risk assessment, a fire alarm and regular fire drills.

Schools are fundamentally safe environments and the relevant data is published by the Home Office. This data shows, among other things, that in the five years up to 2018-19, there are approximately six fires per year that spread to a whole building, in a school estate of around 60,000 buildings (0.01% of buildings). The data can be viewed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#incident-level-datasets.

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