Last week 27 more sites were added to the list of schools and colleges with confirmed cases of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC). This means that 174 cases have been confirmed and have mitigation work underway or completed.
The government says schools affected have been supported and have been working hard to put in place mitigations, which means 148 settings are offering full time face-to-face learning to all pupils.
Of the original 147 schools and colleges that were confirmed as of 30 August, all are now open in some capacity for face-to-face learning, with 125 open for full time face-to-face learning for all pupils. This includes 22 settings that have fully re-opened after needing to offer hybrid arrangements or remote learning for a short period of time at the start of term.
The department says it is continuing to work at pace to survey all schools and colleges that suspect RAAC.
The publication of the list follows a change in guidance to managing RAAC in education settings after new cases emerged over the summer that reduced the Department for Education’s confidence that school and college buildings with confirmed RAAC should remain open without mitigations in place.
Every setting on the current list has already been assigned one of a team of 80 case workers plus project directors working with schools on the ground. Ten regional directors, alongside their teams who know local communities best, are also supporting local schools and responsible bodies. This includes providing short term accommodation options and putting structural solutions in place.
To support this work, the Department for Education has contracts with 3 leading suppliers of temporary accommodation to provide temporary units.
The requirements for each school or college will vary, but the government says it ‘will spend whatever it takes’ and ‘offer whatever assistance is needed’ to keep children safe. This includes capital funding for emergency mitigation work and supporting schools with additional revenue costs. The department will also fund longer-term refurbishment or rebuilding projects.