New Revelations Raise Concerns as Additional Schools and College Buildings in Greater Manchester Found with Potentially Hazardous Concrete

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In a concerning development, two additional schools and a college in Greater Manchester have been identified as having structures with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), according to the latest update from the government. St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School in Stockport, hulme>Cheadle Hulme High School in Cheadle, and The Oldham College have now been included in the official list of educational settings with confirmed RAAC.

The latest update, provided at the end of last month, brings the total number of schools and colleges in Greater Manchester with RAAC to 16. Nationally, the government reports a confirmed number of 231 educational settings with RAAC.

In the affected schools and college in Greater Manchester, with the exception of Bramhall High School, students continue to receive face-to-face education. Bramhall High School has adopted a ‘mix of face-to-face and remote arrangements.’

The Department for Education’s previous national update, as of October 16, indicated 214 settings with RAAC, with 12 offering a hybrid education model of both face-to-face and remote learning.

Last year, the Department for Education distributed a questionnaire to responsible bodies for all schools in England, asking them to identify whether they suspected the presence of potentially crumbling concrete. A spokesperson for the Department of Education informed the Education Select Committee that all responsible bodies of settings with buildings constructed in the target era have now submitted responses, achieving a 100% completion rate for the initial surveys.

As of the latest update, the spokesperson mentioned that “231 currently have confirmed RAAC.” They added, “We do expect there will be some more because, as we go back for follow-up survey work, we will identify a few more,” assuring that the rate of new discoveries has significantly slowed.

During the committee session, it was revealed that 41 settings now have temporary buildings on site. The spokesperson emphasized that there are still settings identified later in the process that may need temporary buildings, while others may benefit from specialist units to ensure the delivery of the full curriculum.

The spokesperson explained, “We’ve got about 110 schools where we think mitigation is the right approach rather than temporary buildings.” They also mentioned that some schools might consider sharing facilities with nearby schools for subjects like science labs due to the long lead time on specialist temporary units, often built bespoke by companies providing such structures.

In the months leading up to the autumn term, numerous schools and colleges in England received directives from the government to fully or partially close their buildings due to concerns about collapse-prone RAAC. This situation has led to disruptions in the education system, prompting expressions of concern from various stakeholders.

Educational leaders have voiced their apprehension, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive and swift response from authorities to ensure the safety of students and staff. The ongoing discoveries of RAAC in educational settings underscore the importance of addressing the issue promptly and effectively to minimize disruptions to education.

Danielle Trigg
Danielle Trigg
Journalist Danielle is a skilled journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With her wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge, Danielle dives into the stories that matter to local communities. Her meticulous research and engaging writing style captivate readers, providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic business landscape. Danielle's commitment to delivering accurate and thought-provoking news sets her apart, making her an invaluable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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