In a call for transparency, Labour’s shadow education secretary, Bridget Phillipson, demands the government to disclose the names of schools affected by structural safety concerns due to a specific type of concrete.
The safety of school buildings across England has come under scrutiny as concerns arise regarding the structural integrity of those constructed with Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC). In response to growing fears, the government announced the immediate closure of such buildings. However, the lack of transparency regarding which schools are impacted has raised concerns and led to calls for disclosure.
The Extent of the Issue:
As of now, approximately 104 schools, commonly referred to as “settings,” are anticipated to face disruptions due to safety concerns related to RAAC. This number adds to the 50 schools that have already been affected earlier this year. The ongoing issue has prompted the government to reconsider its approach to the safety of educational infrastructure.
The Concrete in Question:
RAAC, the material in question, has also been found in some hospitals that have been deemed unsafe. This alarming discovery led Health Secretary Steve Barclay to fast-track these hospitals into the government’s hospitals-building program. The similarities in structural concerns have raised alarm bells, intensifying the need for transparency and action.
Labour’s Demand for Transparency:
Labour’s shadow education secretary, Bridget Phillipson, has been a vocal advocate for transparency throughout this ordeal. She contends that the government must provide a full list of the facilities impacted by RAAC-related safety concerns. In her words, the government should “come clean with parents and set out the full scale of the challenge that we’re facing.”
Phillipson’s concern centers on the lack of transparency, as she emphasizes, “They are still not being upfront about it.”
The safety of students and the structural integrity of school buildings are paramount concerns for parents and the community at large. As the government grapples with this crisis, transparency and clear communication are essential to address these challenges effectively. Bridget Phillipson’s call for openness serves as a reminder of the need for accountability in ensuring the safety of our educational institutions.