Pressure is Government
Reporter LABOUR Party chairman Ian Lavery is calling on Ministers to fit new and refurbished schools with sprinklers after four classrooms were destroyed in a suspected arson attack.
A fire broke out at St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy in Bedlington, Northumberland, on October 26, causing “substantial damage” to one classroom.
Teachers said the blaze spread and damaged three other classrooms at the school, which is not fitted with sprinklers.
Northumbria Police has launched an investigation into the incident and believe the fire may have been started deliberately.
Now, Wansbeck MP Mr Lavery has written to Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Education Secretary Justine Greening and Housing Minister Alok Sharma demanding sprinklers be installed in all schools.
In the letter, Mr Lavery said: “Many local people have been in touch regarding the provision of sprinkler systems, appalled that their presence is not mandatory either in new build or existing schools.
“Sprinklers are an essential safety feature in the control of fire.
“Following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, the importance of sprinklers in public spaces, as well as residential properties, has been highlighted to the Government on numerous occasions.”
Mr Lavery added: “The blaze, which occurred outside of school hours, resulted in the destruction of important learning spaces but thankfully no-one was hurt.
“This incident brings home the importance of ensuring that our children are safe whilst being taught, but also the importance of ensuring disruption to their education is minimised wherever possible.
Labour MP and Party chairman Ian Lavery