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School Glazing to be Upgraded

25 January 2001 Media Statement

School Glazing to be Upgraded

A hundred thousand square metres of safety film will be applied to the windows of schools throughout the country over the next year, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

The $7.5 million programme is being undertaken at all state and integrated schools as a protection measure for both students and staff.

The advisability of providing greater protection was confirmed by a nationwide survey of school glazing which was undertaken after a schoolgirl died in an accident during school sports.

“This tragic accident reminded us of the need to be continually alert to the fact that dangers can exist that are not always very obvious," Trevor Mallard said.

“What we are doing with this safety programme is to lower the risk of glass being broken either through student physical contact or school activities.

“The glass we are talking about is not considered unsafe in terms of it being a serious risk, but we want to bring it up to a higher standard given that it can be exposed to human contact.

“Routine inspections of school property are conducted regularly, and when glazing or any other safety aspect of serious risk is identified, it is always repaired or upgraded immediately. Any broken or cracked glass is always replaced to a higher standard.

“This programme is about is lowering a risk that is fairly low, but we have concluded that it definitely needs to be done.

“It provides an opportunity to upgrade the glazing at all schools in one hit, and the use of safety film is the most practical and cost-effective safety measure we can take,” Trevor Mallard said.

Glass to be covered with the film in the safety programme will include:

 School entrance door glass and adjacent windows;
 Windows at ground level with a low sill height and near a hardcourt or playing area; and
 Unprotected glass in places such as halls or gymnasiums.

The $7.5 million safety programme will get underway in earnest next month. One of the first schools to be treated will be Bohally Intermediate where the initial accident occurred. For an average size primary school, the application of film will take one or two days, and for a larger secondary school it might take up to a fortnight. All schools will be contacted well in advance of the work to keep disruption to a minimum.


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