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All "serious" school fire risks fixed by eve of new school term

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Monday 04 September 2023

All "serious" school fire risks fixed by eve of new school term

Monday 04 September 2023


Work to fix "serious" fire safety issues uncovered across more than a dozen Jersey schools has been completed in time for the new school term, the Education Minister has said.

A group of 15 primary schools were confirmed by the Government as requiring work to ensure compliance with the necessary regulations prior to the start of the autumn term.

Among the changes that had to be made in one school – which the Government did not identify – to mitigate the "serious" fire risk there was replacing a computer suite in a corridor with laptops for students.

Education and Children's Minister Inna Gardiner confirmed yesterday that all the necessary work had been completed in time.

Deputy Gardiner said: “Things like this can't take place when children are in school, and the work has been taking place since the start of the summer holidays.”

Gardiner_Inna.jpg

Pictured: Education Minister Inna Gardiner.

The issue highlighted the importance of investment in primary schools, Deputy Gardiner added.

“We will always make sure that we invest in the maintenance of schools in order to make sure they are safe, but the best thing in some cases would be to have a new school,” she said.

Which schools were affected?

The Education Department confirmed that the schools which experienced "serious issues" were: D'Auvergne, Grands Vaux, Grouville, Jersey College for Girls, La Sente, La Moye, Les Landes, Samarès, Springfield, St Luke, St Mary, St Saviour, Trinity, Victoria College Prep, Victoria College Jersey.

What were the risks?

The Government did not provide a list of individual risks affecting each school when asked by Express, but did provide the following examples of mitigations that had to be put in place:

  • replacing PCs with laptops to minimise risk from computer suites housed in corridors;

  • upgrading non-slip matting and handrails for to meet modern requirements;

  • clearing obstructions, such as coats hung on hooks, in corridors and circulation areas to aid evacuation;

  • installing additional emergency lighting; and

  • installing walls around staircases to reduce the risk of fire spreading.

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Rush to fix "serious" school fire risks before start of new term

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