Ellie Ames 25 January 2024

Pupils leaving RAAC schools, heads warn

Pupils leaving RAAC schools, heads warn image
Image: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Students are increasingly being taken out of schools that are affected by a crumbly form of concrete, headteachers have warned.

The ‘unacceptable’ length of time that mitigation works are taking in schools containing reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) is causing parents to lose confidence and move their children into neighbouring schools, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said.

Schools containing the weak form of concrete are also reporting reduced admissions applications for the next academic year, the union said in its submission for the Spring Budget.

With pupil numbers one factor that affects how much funding schools in England receive, the ASCL urged the chancellor to provide financial protection for schools whose rolls are declining because of RAAC.

The issue of RAAC in schools came to prominence last year when the Department for Education decided just days before the start of term that school buildings containing the weak form of concrete should not re-open.

In the most recent government list, 231 schools in England were confirmed to contain RAAC.

Affected schools have had to teach children online, in nearby buildings including other schools, and in temporary structures.

The ASCL also urged the chancellor to introduce a new recovery funding stream to help these schools provide catch-up for pupils whose learning has been affected.

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