EDUCATION bosses will consider introducing sprinkler systems to all schools following the devastating blaze at the largest secondary in theScottish Borders.

There are currently 56 primaries and secondaries across the Borders region without the safety systems.

Flames spread from the art department of Peebles High School on Thursday, November 28, causing significant damage to surrounding areas of the school.

The buildings will remain closed until the new year when it is hoped that unaffected departments will be re-opened.

A major school fire in 2006 also led to a new primary being built in Denholm, Roxburghshire.

Only 12 schools across the region are currently fitted with sprinkler systems - Earlston, Kelso, Berwickshire and Eyemouth Highs, and Langlee, West Linton, Kingsland, Lauder, Clovenfords, Denholm, Broomlands and Leader Valley primaries.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson confirmed that consideration will be given to improved safety requirements such as sprinklers at older buildings during a review of the Peebles High fire.

He said: “While there is no currently no legislative requirement to retro-fit sprinklers in schools, a full debrief process is underway into all aspects of the Peebles High fire, which saw all pupils and staff safely evacuated.”

It has been a mandatory requirement for several years for all new schools to be fitted with sprinkler systems.

Although plans are are in place for replacement primaries in Earlston and Eyemouth, which will have sprinklers, as well as secondaries in Galashiels, Hawick, Selkirk and Peebles it will be more than a decade until they are all delivered.

Council convenor David Parker believes equipping all of the schools estate would present a challenge.

He said: "It is important to ensure sprinklers in new builds but I think the logistics of doing it in older schools would be a serious problem.

"Retrofitting sprinklers into some of the older buildings would be a significant challenge and I am not sure how practical it would be.

"The fire response at Peebles was exemplary, the Brigade were on site very swiftly and when they arrived, the school had been evacuated and the fire crew did an excellent job at containing what was a very difficult fire."

A risk assessment carried out by fire officers across Scotland last year found that around 15 percent of school buildings were at a 'high risk' of fire.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) carried out almost 8,000 risk assessments in public buildings, including 470 schools.

And they found that 66 of the primaries and secondaries were deemed at 'high risk' of fire.

A further 325 schools were deemed to be at 'medium risk' with only 41 at 'low risk' and 35 'very low risk'.

Ross Haggart, the SFRS’s director of prevention and protection, said: “Our auditors consider a number of factors when determining risk, including building size and height and the number of people present as well as overall compliance with fire legislation.

“While local authorities and duty holders who operate premises, such as schools, have overall responsibility for the provision of fire safety measures, specialist SFRS officers will always seek to work in partnership wherever possible and appropriate to support this process."

Face-to-face education resumed at the 1300-pupil Peebles High on Monday.

Pupils from S1-3 are being taught at various locations in Peebles while S4-6 pupils are being bussed to Galashiels Academy 18 miles away to resume their studies.

A boy has been charged in connection with wilful-fire-raising in connection with the blaze  and a report sent to the Children's Reporter.