CHILDREN should not pay the price for Tory education cuts, says Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton and Failsworth.

Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary spoke out following the government’s admission that less than one in six new school buildings have sprinklers.

Despite official government guidance that all new schools should have sprinklers “except in a few low-risk schools” the Labour party claims that, of the 673 schools built under the government’s flagship school building scheme and free school programmes, sprinklers were fitted in just 105.

The figures also suggested that just one in 15 free schools approved by the government had been built with sprinklers – a far lower rate than other types of schools.

Ms Rayner said: “A Labour government will invest in bringing all school buildings up to a good standard and put money aside to ensure schools are safe, removing dangerous asbestos and fitting sprinklers in new schools.

“We have long called for the government to close the loopholes that let developers get away with anything less than the highest standards. We have forced Ministers to back away from weakening the rules even further, but now they need to listen and ensure there is nothing short of the best possible level of safety in our schools.

“Our children should not be left to pay the price for Tory education cuts.”

The figures covered almost 700 schools built and approved under the Priority Schools Building Programme, which dates back to 2011.