Updated list of schools with RAAC published

The Department for Education has published an updated list of schools with RAAC, with an additional 27 schools identified.

RAAC is a lightweight, ‘bubbly’ form of concrete commonly used in construction between the 1950s and mid-1990s. It is predominantly found as precast panels in roofs (commonly flat roofs, sometimes pitched) and occasionally in floors and walls.

The Department for Education is asking all Responsible Bodies (local authorities, academy trusts, dioceses, and college groups) to look for RAAC in their buildings as it is unsafe and could risk collapse.

The government has also updated its guidance for for state funded education estates in England that have confirmed or suspected reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in their buildings.

Commenting on the updated list, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “This is an important update as it is crucial the government urgently gets a complete and accurate picture of which schools have RAAC and the actions needed to make sure every school is safe for children and staff. The 27 schools additionally identified today will all be working tirelessly to make sure children get the education they deserve despite the disruption.

“But we still need a real sense of a clear plan not just to put short-term mitigation measures in place, but to properly repair or replace buildings so they are fit for purpose. Propping up ceilings with metal poles is clearly not a serious option in the medium or long term.

“While the government is now taking the right course of action in dealing with the immediate crisis, it should have never come to this. This situation has been brought about by years of neglect and underinvestment in the school estate. Too many schools have been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair and the current crisis is just one symptom of a problem that has been long in the making.”