A company which insures the education sector says two-thirds of schools in England have poor fire protection systems and are not properly prepared for a potential blaze.
Zurich Municipal, which insures about half of all schools and universities in the UK, has written to the government calling for urgent action to improve fire protection in school premises.
The company carried out inspections at 1,000 sites over the past two years and said that 67% of schools in England were rated as having “poor” fire protection systems, with only 5% being “excellent”. This compares to the 29% of Scottish schools who were rated as excellent.
In addition to sprinklers, inspectors who carried out school visits also considered building combustibility and modern construction methods, as well as fire detection systems and smoking controls.
Zurich said there are more than 1,000 fires in school premises every year, costing on average £2.8m for larger incidents and closing premises not just for pupils but also the wider community, which often uses the space out of school hours.
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