Thank you for contacting me about the temporary closure of some schools and other educational settings with building safety issues.
I completely understand your concern about the disruption to students, teachers and parents at schools, colleges and maintained nursery schools which have buildings with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).
As of 27 November, there are 231 education settings with confirmed RAAC in some of their buildings. Thanks to the hard work of school and college leaders, 228 settings (99 per cent) are providing full time face-to-face education for all pupils. 3 settings have hybrid arrangements in place. This may involve some remote learning on some days as not all pupils can currently receive full-time face-to-face education. There are no education settings with confirmed RAAC where all pupils are in full-time remote learning.
In 2022, the Government issued a questionnaire asking responsible bodies for schools and colleges to identify whether they suspected they had RAAC. Responsible bodies have submitted responses to the questionnaire for 100 per cent of schools and colleges with blocks built in the target era. All schools and colleges that have advised that they suspect they might have RAAC have had a first survey to confirm if RAAC is present. The vast majority of schools and colleges surveyed to date have been found to have no RAAC.
Every school or college with confirmed RAAC is assigned dedicated support from the Department for Education's team of caseworkers. Project delivery teams are on site to support schools and colleges to implement mitigation plans. They will work with them to put in place a bespoke plan that supports face-to-face education for all pupils as soon as possible based on their circumstances. Mitigation plans include other spaces on the school site, or in nearby schools or elsewhere in the local area, until building works are carried out or temporary buildings are installed.
The Government is funding the emergency work needed to mitigate the presence of RAAC, including installing alternative classroom space where necessary. All reasonable requests for additional help with revenue costs, like transport to locations or temporarily renting a local hall, are being approved. The Government is funding longer-term refurbishment or rebuilding projects to address the presence of RAAC in schools. Schools and colleges will either be offered capital grants to fund refurbishment work to permanently remove RAAC, or rebuilding projects where these are needed, including through the School Rebuilding Programme. The Government is working closely with responsible bodies to assess what the right solution is for each case.
I want to reassure pupils, parents and staff that this Government is doing whatever it takes to support our schools and colleges in responding to RAAC and minimise disruption to education.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Angela Richardson MP
Member of Parliament for Guildford, Cranleigh and our villages