Sprinklers will not be fitted at Selsey Academy

The fire at Selsey Academy in 2016. Picture by Eddie Mitchell SUS-160821-101248001
The fire at Selsey Academy in 2016. Picture by Eddie Mitchell SUS-160821-101248001

The new Academy Selsey will be built without sprinklers, the trust who run it has just confirmed.

The new school is currently being constructed on the same site where a devastating fire destroyed the former secondary school buildings in August 2016.

Commenting to the Observer on Tuesday, January 23, Karen Roberts, CEO of TKAT, said “The building work at The Academy Selsey is moving along well and is due to be completed on schedule at the end of 2018.

“Separately, after detailed discussion, risk assessment and consultation with a range of experts over the last few months, the decision has been made not to install sprinklers.”

No one was hurt in the huge blaze at the school, which was not fitted with a sprinkler system at the time of the fire during the holidays.

Since 2010, less than 40 per cent of new schools built have been fitted with sprinklers.

However, when TKAT announced in July 2017 it was yet to make a decision, parents reacted angrily, and a former firefighter of 32 years said it was ‘beyond belief’.

Explaining the move, Mrs Roberts said: “In coming to this decision, there were two key considerations: safety and building protection.

“In schools, the prime function of a sprinkler system is building protection, while the building design - including access routes and building materials, maintenance and evacuation procedures – is what actually impacts on safety.

“The building design at Selsey is in accordance with our stringent regulations, and we are confident in both the fire prevention and safety procedures in place across all our academies.

“Our priority now is to focus on allowing our students and staff to move back into the new building and continue with their education undisturbed.”