A recent study has revealed that more than 150 schools in England have been identified as having a type of potentially dangerous concrete, prompting many schools to close buildings or classrooms in order to ensure the safety of students and staff. The government has not yet published a list of which schools are affected, but BBC News is actively gathering information from schools themselves to compile a comprehensive list of affected institutions.
The study found that 156 school buildings have this type of concrete, known as Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), with 52 of them at risk of sudden collapse. Immediate action has been taken to prop up the concrete and make these buildings safe. However, the study also discovered cases where low-risk RAAC had turned out to be unsafe, causing an additional 104 schools to close affected buildings for safety measures.
It is important to note that more schools may be affected as surveys are ongoing. A previous report by the National Audit Office had identified 572 schools across the country where RAAC might be present, prompting engineers to conduct surveys to assess the extent of the problem.
Schools in various regions of the UK are being checked for collapse-prone concrete as well. In Hertfordshire, 120 school buildings are being surveyed, while schools in Northern Ireland are undergoing urgent checks. In Scotland, at least 12 schools have been identified with RAAC, with no schools being completely closed. Schools and colleges in Wales are also being surveyed for RAAC, although no institutions have reported having the material.
The safety of students and staff remains the top priority for educational institutions. Parents and guardians are encouraged to stay informed and in touch with their child’s school for updates on closures or safety measures.