17th Nov, 2019

Council will not be testing cladding on Warwickshire schools

Maisie Jeynes 10th Jul, 2017

NO ‘cladding of concern’ has been found on schools in Warwickshire.

As such, Warwickshire County Council has decided that no fire safety testing is needed on materials currently used on buildings.

A spokesperson for the council said: “We are currently undertaking work to review our fire safety, and ensuring fire risk assessments are up-to-date across schools.

“No cladding of concern has been found on our schools and therefore testing has not been required.”

It is understood that sprinkler systems are installed in six of the county’s newly built schools, but there are no immediate plans to install them in older buildings.

The comments come in light of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in June. Following the blaze that took up to 80 lives, fire safety has been under review in a number of community spaces including schools, hospitals and colleges.

South Warwickshire NHS Trust has carried out a full assessment of buildings and confirmed that none of them have the same type of cladding used on Grenfell Tower. An additional £80,000 was included in this year’s hospitals budget, specifically to address fire safety.

Warwickshire College has carried out an assessment of all its buildings. John Vickery, director of estates said: “We can confirm that the cladding used to insulate teaching and residential blocks at Royal Leamington Spa College is safe and has been checked by both the Warwickshire County Council Fire Protection Inspector and our insurers.”

Stratford College has also assessed buildings and fire safety. Principle and CEO Andrew Cropley said: “The cladded blocks are rated at AA, the highest possible standard. This provides a two hour resistance to fire.

“The building has an alarm system and every room includes a smoke alarm. Each staircase has an evacuation chair for disabled occupants.”

The college also confirmed that in a recent drill the building was evacuated in just 3.5 minutes.

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