No 'crumbling concrete' in county council's maintained schools - The Evesham Observer

No 'crumbling concrete' in county council's maintained schools

Evesham Editorial 1st Sep, 2023   0

EDUCATION chiefs at Worcestershire County Council have revealed all school buildings it is responsible for maintaining do not have RAAC concrete.

Concern was sparked when the Government published revised guidance which stated the material was potentially dangerous and could lead to a partial or full collapse.

The Department for Education (DfE) said 156 school buildings were identified as having this type of concrete, RAAC .

Of them, 52 were at risk of sudden collapse and action was taken immediately to make them safe, for example by propping up the concrete.

The other 104 are currently scrambling to put safety measures in place to stay open.

Schools with RAAC only have to close or partially close if they do not have safety measures in place, and cannot make alternative arrangements – such as converting other parts of the building into temporary classrooms or moving children to another site.

Back in June, a report by the National Audit Office assessed that 572 schools had been identified where RAAC might be present. Engineers at schools across the country have been carrying out surveys to work out where the problems are.

Coun Adam Kent, cabinet member for Corporate Services and Communication at Worcestershire County Council, said: “We have reviewed and undertaken inspections in all our maintained schools.

“Detailed investigations have been undertaken onsite at a number of schools and no RAAC has been found in any maintained school that the council is responsible for.

“Academies in Worcestershire are required to report any confirmed or suspected RAAC directly to the Department for Education.”

It comes after a ‘loss of confidence in buildings containing the material’ already led to 56 schools being repaired.

The Government has been criticised for refusing to release a full list of the schools which will be affected by the RAAC closures in the run-up to the start of the new school term.

Despite this, the DfE is telling parents they will find out if their children’s school is affected if they are contacted by the school itself.

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