RAAC crisis: government publishes list of schools affected

The Department for Education (DfE) has published the list of 147 schools in England where reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) has been confirmed so far.

DfE said the majority of schools already have mitigation measures in place to start the academic year on time. However, the list shows that four schools will have to switch to full remote teaching because of dangerous RAAC in their buildings.

A total of 19 schools have delayed the start of term and 20 have hybrid arrangements in place, meaning that some students will have remote learning.

The government said pupils joining classes remotely “are expected to do so for a very short period of time, in most cases for a matter of days”. The majority of schools (104) where RAAC has been found will continue providing face-to-face learning.

The list concluded with nine settings that have now been found not to have RAAC.

DfE has provided a dedicated caseworker for every school with confirmed RAAC. It added that funding for emergency mitigation work, including structural support and temporary accommodation, will also be available.

The department has received responses relating to 95% of schools built in the period where RAAC was used.

RAAC is an aerated lightweight form of concrete popular in UK public sector building construction from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. It has a shelf-life of around 30 years.

A 2019 report by the Standing Committee on Structural Safety highlighted the significant risk of failure of these planks. In September 2022, the Office of Government Property sent a Safety Briefing Notice to all property leaders regarding the dangers of RAAC, stating that “RAAC is now life-expired and liable to collapse”.

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