1. ITV Report

Ministers 'drop plans to ease school fire safety standards'

The Department of Education is reportedly rethinking its plans on new fire safety guidance Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

Ministers are reportedly 'dropping' plans to ease fire safety standards in new schools following a policy u-turn in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

According to The Observer newspaper it comes after a Department of Education (DoE) rethink over a consultation on new draft guidance that had been put into motion last year.

The paper reports that there had been a suggestion following the initial consultation work that "school buildings do not need to be sprinkler protected to achieve a reasonable standard of safety" but that this is now set to be stripped out of the revised draft guidance document.

The expected amendment to the guidance document comes in the wake of the Grenfell Tower block fire, in London, which killed at least 79 people.

A DoE spokesman told The Observer "there will be no change to the fire safety laws for schools or our determination to protect children's safety".

He said: "It has always been the case, and remains the case, that where the risk assessment required for any new building recommends sprinklers are installed to keep children safe, they must be fitted.

"Alongside the rest of Government, we will take forward any findings from the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire. "

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