Four more London schools are found to have dangerous concrete, as the government updates its list of affected sites.
Prior to the latest update, 147 schools in England were identified by the Department for Education (DfE) to have reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).
A total of 27 further schools have now been added, with 98.6% of schools having returned the government’s surveys.
What are the new London schools on the list?
The four schools in the capital also found to have RAAC on-site are:
Ark John Keats Academy, Enfield
Kingsbury High School, Brent
Mulberry Stepney Green Mathematics and Computing College, Tower Hamlets
Stepney All Saints Church of England Secondary School, Tower Hamlets
In a post on its website, Stepney All Saints Church of England Secondary School confirmed it is closed “until further notice”, with all lessons to take place online.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, said: “We are taking a cautious approach so every parent in England can be reassured their child is safe in their school.
“School and local leaders deserve huge credit for making sure the vast majority of settings with confirmed Raac are continuing to offer pupils face-to-face learning – including all of the 147 schools initially identified two weeks ago.
“We will continue to work closely with affected schools and provide both expert and financial support to minimise disruption and keep staff and children safe.”
What is RAAC?
A form of lightweight concrete, RAAC was used in schools, colleges and other building construction from the 1950s until the mid-1990s. However, it is different from traditional concrete and is instead much weaker, making buildings in which it has been used less durable.
The government has been working with schools and other bodies to manage the risks of RAAC since 2018. In 2022, the DfE sent a questionnaire to all relevant bodies asking for information on the use of RAAC across local schools.
A series of recent cases mean the department however changed its assessment of the risk posed by RAAC, which is why it requested some schools close buildings earlier this month, just before term started.
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, previously said: “Children and young people should not be facing the prospect of having their education disrupted as a result of lack of investment and foresight from the government.
“It is a disgrace that, despite ministers’ promises to the contrary, there are any schools in such poor condition and state of repair and in danger of collapse.”
Other buildings in London found to have RAAC include Harrow Crown Court, the National Theatre, and Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Find more details on the government website here.