27 more schools found to contain RAAC

A further 27 schools have been added to the list of educational institutions with confirmed cases of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), bringing the total number up to 174, the Department for Education (DfE) announced today (20th September).

Last month, it was confirmed that over 100 schools would be closing buildings over concerns over the potential safety implications of buildings that were constructed using RAAC, which is often used in the floors, roofs and walls of buildings.

Of the 174 schools with confirmed cases, 148 are offering face-to-face full time learning to pupils, with 23 have moved to a hybrid arrangement and one has adopted remote learning, said the DfE.

Alongside schools and colleges, another 27 NHS sites have been confirmed to have used RAAC plank construction, with seven of those needing full replacements — according to the government, these will be rebuilt through the new hospital programme by 2030.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan said: “We are taking a cautious approach so every parent in England can be reassured their child is safe in their school.

“School and local leaders deserve huge credit for making sure the vast majority of settings with confirmed RAAC are continuing to offer pupils face to face learning — including all of the 147 schools initially identified two weeks ago.”

She stated that the government would continue to work closely with affected schools and provide both expert and financial support to minimise disruption and keep staff and children safe.

James Butcher, director of policy at the National Federation of Builders, commented: “The inclusion of more schools and colleges on the DfE’s list of educational settings containing RAAC was frankly to be expected and should be welcomed because once we know about it, we can undertake the appropriate mitigation to make sure it is safe.

“Working with properly qualified and competent surveyors and structural engineers, regional building contractors like those the NFB represent will be ready to help the remediation programme.”

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