In 2007, we gathered information from all authorities on the improvements to their school buildings over the previous 10 years. This “School Building Investment Data” is available in the parliamentary Libraries. We also published “Better Buildings Better Design Better Education, A report on capital investment in education” which summarises the headline data for the 10 years from 1997 to 2007. The information collected includes the numbers of new schools in the last five years set out in the following table. These figures include nursery, primary, secondary and special schools, and also academies; and both additional new schools and replacement schools.
Number 2002-03 121 2003-04 122 2004-05 127 2005-06 171 2006-07 196
We do not keep information on the details of new school designs. However it is our expectation that all new and some refurbished schools designed after the introduction of our new policy in February 2007 will have fire sprinklers installed, although this is not a compulsory measure. There may be cases where local authorities or other promoters of schools consider that sprinklers are not needed. If so, they will need to be able to demonstrate that such schools are very low risk and that sprinklers would not represent good value for money.