Following the appalling fire at The Cube in Bolton on Friday 15 November, the leaders of four unions have written to the current Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to reiterate their deep concerns about the ‘shameful’ record of this Government on fire safety.

The union leaders call on Williamson to set a deadline of 18 months in which all school buildings must be made safe. They ask:

  • Will you prohibit the use of flammable cladding on any educational building from now on?
  • Will you commit to remove all flammable cladding from all educational buildings of whatever height?
  • Will you make the fitting of sprinkler systems mandatory for all new educational buildings and retrofit sprinklers in all existing educational buildings?
  • Will you ensure a review of all existing educational buildings to ensure they meet necessary fire safety standards?
  • Will you work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to review standards in the private, purpose-build student accommodation sector to ensure these are robust enough?

The letter is signed by leaders of the Fire Brigades Union, the National Education Union, National Union of Students, and the University and College Union.