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Over 100 English schools told to close buildings with ‘weak concrete’

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete was a popular choice for walls and roofs Image: Reuters

More than 100 schools in England have had to suddenly close buildings that have been identified as having a ‘weak’ form of concrete.

The affected schools were given the instructions by the government just as the new school year was about to begin, and so will have a significant knock-on effect.

It has been prompted after an incident during the summer holidays when, according to Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, a beam at a school thought to be no risk suddenly collapsed.

Now a list of schools, colleges and nurseries with buildings containing reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) have been told by the Department of Education (DfE) that they must close, unless safety ‘mitigations’ are in place.

Many are having to find emergency accommodation for the start of term, including the use of temporary structures that can be quickly brought in, as well as spaces in community centres and even empty office buildings.

Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, said: “Nothing is more important than making sure children and staff are safe in schools and colleges, which is why we are acting on new evidence about RAAC now, ahead of the start of term.”

Click here for more information from the DfE.

Author: Simon Weedy

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