UK News

Gillian Keegan admits “hundreds more” schools could be affected by RAAC

The Education Secretary has admitted hundreds more schools in England could be hit by crumbling concrete.

Gillian Keegan said on the BBC this morning that about 1,500 schools have yet to return their surveys on RAAC detections – about 10 per cent of the country’s 15,000 schools.

She said the “vast majority” of surveys now show RAAC in schools, but acknowledged hundreds of those 1,500 could contain the potentially dangerous building material.

Nick Robinson pointed out: “There are 1,500 schools where parents send their children to school where they can’t be told it’s safe and the principal can’t tell them it’s safe because no survey has been done became.”

Ms Keegan said the government was too cautious in managing the crisis and was going “beyond official recommendations”.

“If you go through the numbers I gave, of the 90 percent who have returned, only 1 percent have RAAC. So if you’re trying to give an order of magnitude, we’re talking about a lot less.” .

Mr Robinson did the calculations for Today listeners and clarified that 150 schools may have RAAC despite not having completed surveys.

Also, there are 450 schools suspected of containing RAAC but may not be reviewed until December.

The education secretary said they will now all be reviewed “in the next two weeks” after the number of building assessors increased.

This morning, the former Secretary of State for Education, whose most senior official, told the Today Program that as chancellor, Mr Sunak had massively reduced the number of schools to be rebuilt.

Jonathan Slater said a 2020 survey of schools found 300 to 400 schools needed repair or full rebuilding, but Mr Sunak’s Treasury Department only approved about a third to rebuild.

He said: “Obviously it’s frustrating when what matters most to you is the priority given to safety.”

“When the Treasury is concerned that there’s never enough money for everything, we’ve been able to send them really good data.

“Not only have we said there is a significant risk of death, we have said there is a critical risk of life if this program is not funded.

“When I was secretary of state in 2018, a concrete block fell from the roof of a primary school. So it wasn’t just a risk, it was actually starting to happen. So it was frustrating.”

Ms Keegan said three incidents over the summer in which RAAC “failed” caused the government’s last-minute move and wreaked havoc on thousands of parents.

She said the Government has spent £15billion investing in schools since 2015.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button