The study explored the impacts of school fires on schools (staff, pupils, parents and infrastructure) and on the wider community. Despite a downward trend in the number of school fires (malicious and accidental), there remain a substantial number of fires in schools each year and that they have a significant impact on the social and emotional experiences of pupils, staff and the wider community and on teaching and learning in the affected schools. Overall, the evidence suggests that there remain two key challenges for the future which are the need to:
- persuade all stakeholders of the importance of addressing the issue of schools fires through highlighting their impact, whether or not they have had or are likely to have a direct experience of fire
- ensure that school leaders and local authority decision makers are equipped with accurate and relevant guidance about fire prevention and management in order that they can make informed decisions.
Therefore, given the programme of school building through Building Schools for the Future, it is perhaps timely for campaigns such as Wise Up to Fire, and for the LGA to ensure that decision-makers in local authorities and schools are fully informed about the impact of fires in schools and the effectiveness of sprinklers in minimising this impact.
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