09/12/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/12/2023 03:34
"The LGA has been warning of the risk from RAAC in schools since 2018. The Government should urgently establish a taskforce, including with the LGA and councils to ensure the safety of both pupils and staff in the long term."
Responding to the Government's announcement that school buildings made from reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) should close immediately until safety work is undertaken, Cllr Kevin Bentley, Senior Vice-Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
"Leaving this announcement until near the end of the summer holidays, rather than at the beginning, has left schools and councils with very little time to make urgent rearrangements and minimise disruption to classroom learning.
"The LGA has been warning of the risk from RAAC in schools since 2018. The Government should urgently establish a taskforce, including with the LGA and councils to ensure the safety of both pupils and staff in the long term.
"Councils will be supporting schools in their areas who have had to close affected buildings, including by providing alternative spaces. The Government should also provide councils with the necessary funding and technical expertise to repair or replace those buildings with RAAC.
"The Government also needs to provide councils with financial support where they are supporting other schools, such as academies and faith schools, which have had to close buildings due to the presence of RAAC.
"This includes our call for a single, local funding pot to replace the existing fragmented system for school capital projects and for this to sit with councils, who should have the power to determine how and where this is best spent in their local areas."
"Councils will now work fast to ensure children's education is disrupted as little as possible."