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School safety report being prepared

Government reform minister Lovitta Foggo (File photograph)

A report is being prepared summarising the findings of health and safety inspections in Bermuda’s public schools.

Government reform minister Lovitta Foggo said the government’s safety and health coordinator carried out inspections between August 21 and October 13, and reports on individual schools are now being put together.

She said in a statement: “The Health and Safety Office is currently in the process of preparing a summary report of all inspection findings.

“Once I receive the submission of the summary report, the Health and Safety Office will provide detailed individual draft facilities inspection reports of each school. The separate reports will be sent to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Works.

“These ministries will provide feedback on the draft reports and a final facilities inspection report for each school will be completed. Work to address any issues will commence thereafter. At this point, we are pleased that we could meet our commitment to our students, faculty and parents by completing this stage of the process.”

She said high risk findings identified in the inspection process had already been rectified.

Ms Foggo added: “We have committed to provide and maintain working and learning conditions that are free from recognisable hazards and risks to the safety, health and wellbeing of all students and employees.

“As it relates to the public schools health and safety review, I am gratified that urgent attention was given to this matter and we look forward to enacting the identified recommendations as soon as possible.”

Education minister Diallo Rabain said: “It was important to undertake these inspections so that the Ministry of Education has a clear idea of the challenges faced within our schools.

“I look forward to receipt of these reports in due course so we can progress our election and Throne Speech promises of doing what is needed to ensure our students, teachers, support staff and administrators are working in safe schools.”

The former One Bermuda Alliance government had previously conducted an extensive review of health and safety in all public primary schools, and in May this year announced a $6 million maintenance and repairs bill.