MP Education panel to summon ministers to answer questions over RAAC scandal

The issue of RAAC has grabbed headlines and caused great concern for parents and schools. 

The Education Select Committee is summoning Ministers to seek urgent answers.  

Whilst only a small percentage of the country’s schools are directly affected, we can be in no doubt that those 100 and counting are, and will, face significant disruption.

There is never a good time for a school community to be ambushed with news that its buildings are in any way a risk, but the unfortunate timing of this – days before the start of term – makes that devastating news even more acute.

We have heard the distress and anxiety this is causing to families and staff. 

READ MORE: Fear that over-cautious school closures opens a ‘Pandora’s Box’ crisis

The last few years have tested the sector more than enough already.

And we share concerns that having to relocate classrooms, catering or sports facilities to alternative sites may exacerbate the already vital issues of pupil absence and lost learning.  

Even for schools with few buildings containing RAAC, it is unclear just how long disruption is going to last. 

Even with all the resources in the world, there is a limit to how quickly buildings on complex, busy school sites can be surveyed, demolished or refurbished.

Ministers must do all they can to resolve this situation as quickly as possible. 

Don’t miss…
12 months on, Labour has no update on investigation into senior MP Nick Brown[SCOOP]
Starmer squirms as he admits he can’t say how Labour would fund school repairs[LATEST]
Jacob Rees-Mogg and more senior Tory MPs slam PM’s ‘un-conservative’ energy bill[WATCH]

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

However, it is essential that we look back at how we got to this point and learn lessons from it.

Were mistakes made and are there lessons to be learnt? 

How was it that the Department for Education apparently relied upon incorrect information about the safety of this type of concrete for so long? 

When the full extent of RAAC’s high-risk nature was realised, could ministers have acted sooner? What was the timeline of events that led to the policy change? 

How can we ensure that future public building programmes avoid the mistake of using products that have a shorter safe life than the building’s use?

As a cross-party Committee we have invited Ministers and officials to answer our questions so that we can establish answers to all of the above. 

With a number of our members having schools in their constituencies that are hit, we feel the urgency of this crisis.

I welcome the Government’s assurances that all costs incurred by affected schools will be met by the Government.

No school should have to bear additional costs on top of the stress and extra work this is going to entail.  

Source: Read Full Article