Commenting on the Department for Education’s confirmation that reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) has been identified in 174 schools, according to its fortnightly data release, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“It is useful that the Department for Education has updated the list of schools with confirmed RAAC, which has now risen to 174, and set out the mitigations in place in those schools. This number is certain to grow as other schools are properly inspected.
“It continues to be the case that the Secretary of State is failing to answer questions put by six education unions on 7 September*. There is still a lack of clarity and timeframe from Government on when all schools at risk will be investigated by qualified structural engineers to assess the extent of the problem and the measures that need to be put in place to rectify the presence of RAAC. Nor has there been a deadline set to clear RAAC from every school. It is impossible to assess the progress the DfE is making without answers to these questions.
“Schools have done an incredible job to scramble together arrangements for children and young people’s education. They should never have been put in this position. It is the product of years of neglect by a Government unwilling to prioritise education and content to allow the school estate to drift into a parlous state. Schools must now get all the support and help they need to ensure that a complete picture of the problem is given, and that proper measures to rectify are undertaken speedily. Portacabins and marquees are not a long-term solution. Our children deserve better.”