To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of localised flooding following high rainfall on schools in England; and what data his Department holds on the number of schools that needed to close in (a) whole or (b) part for that reason in each of the last three months.
The Department has not made a comprehensive assessment of the effect of localised flooding and there is no requirement on schools, or their responsible bodies, to notify the Department of flood events. A school's responsible body, typically a trust or local authority, is responsible for managing an emergency situation, including contacting their insurers. Where the Department is made aware of a flood impacted school, departmental officials provide advisory support to ensure the school is able to remain open or reopen at the earliest opportunity. In addition, the Department’s Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) scheme, an alternative to insurance for academies and schools, provides direct support to its members where they have been impacted.
Local authorities as Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs), including county councils and unitary authorities, lead in managing local flood risks. This includes ensuring co-operation between the Risk Management Authorities in their area.
The Department is aware of seven schools that were members of the RPA scheme impacted by localised flooding over the last three months. None of the impacted schools needed to close as the events were during the summer holiday period. All of these schools opened as planned in September 2022.