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In the UK, more than 100 schools were closed because of the danger of collapse
In the UK, many schools use Autoclaved aerated cement (RAAC). This is a concrete material that is lighter.
RAAC was found to be used in the roofs and buildings of a school in Southeast England in 2018. This led to concerns regarding the safety risks associated with the material.
BBC reported that RAAC materials were widely used from the 1950s until the mid-1990s in areas such as roof panels, and had a lifespan of around 30 years.
Reports indicate that the risk of building collapse is not only present in schools, but also in hospitals, police station, courts and other public structures. RAAC material has been found.
The Royal Dengate Theatre at Northampton is temporarily closed after RAAC material was found.
According to NHS, RAAC has been detected in 27 hospital building.
The NHS chief has been asked for measures to be taken to prevent collapse.
BBC reported that since 2018 the British government has warned schools to be “fully ready” in case RAAC is found within public buildings.
The Independent reported Jonathan Slater a former senior education official, who said Prime Minister Sunak, when he was chancellor of treasury in 2021, approved budget reductions to build schools.
Nick Gibb is a senior official at the Department of Education. He said that the Department of Education asked for PS200m annually for school maintenance. Sunak was the former chancellor of exchequer and provided just PS50m a year.
The report also states that despite Sunak having promised to renovate at least 50 schools per annum, only four have been renovated as part of the government’s major reconstruction plan.
The British National Audit Office chief also criticized this crisis. He claimed that the Sunak government had adopted a “plaster-method” of building maintenance.
He believes the government’s underinvestment has forced schools to close, and that families are now “paying the cost”.
Paul Whitman is the secretary-general of National Association of Principals. He said parents and public will see any attempt by government to shift blame from their own major mistakes as a “desperate attempt by the Government to divert its attention.”
Whitman claimed that the classroom has become completely unusable. Whitman blamed the British Government for the situation. “No matter what you do to divert or distract, it won’t work.”
London Mayor Sadiq khan said that the government should be transparent. This will reassure parents, staff, children, and others.
BBC reported schools in the UK were pushing forward with inspections and assessments. Children who had been suspended because of school building issues will be temporarily housed, or they can learn online.