Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Department of Education and Skills
154. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her Department's planning and building unit received correspondence from fire officers regarding issues of emergency access and egress in schools during the years 2011 to date in 2014; if she will provide details of the counties and locations from where correspondence was received; the actions that her Department's building unit took as a result; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44441/14]
In accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Board of Management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school and my Department's Planning and Building Unit would generally not be involved in direct communication with Fire Officers in relation fire safety issues in school buildings.
Most school building projects require an application for a Fire Cert as part of the statutory approvals for the project. Design teams working on behalf of the Department and their respective schools would communicate directly with the Fire Officer in the relevant local authority as a standard part of the process of architectural planning.
To assist school authorities and Design teams to meet their requirements in relation to fire safety my Department has prepared a guidance document following consultation with the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management, Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Chief Fire Officers' Association and this document is available on my Department's website.