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HomeCommunitySchools in Barnet not affected by concrete prone to collapse, says council

Schools in Barnet not affected by concrete prone to collapse, says council

No schools in Barnet have been found to be affected by a type of concrete that is prone to collapse, the council says.

Yesterday (Thursday 31st), the government announced 156 schools across England were found to have a type of concrete that is prone to collapse and will need to introduce safety measures if they haven’t already done so.

The material, reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), was used in the construction of schools and other public buildings from the 1960s to the 1990s.

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A more lightweight form of concrete with a lifespan of around 30 years, it was mainly used in roofs but is sometimes found in walls and floors.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “Thorough survey checks have been carried out and we have not identified any schools in Barnet affected by this issue. However, we are awaiting results for a handful of schools which are due to be surveyed this month.”

Since 2021, the Department for Education (DfE) has assessed the possibility of building collapse or failure causing death or injury as a “critical and very likely risk”. In June, the National Audit Office said the DfE had not been able to reduce the risk.

Yesterday, the DfE said new RAAC cases had “reduced the Department for Education’s confidence that school and college buildings with confirmed RAAC should remain open without mitigations in place”.

It said it was now taking “the precautionary and proactive step to change its approach to RAAC in education settings, including schools”.

Although most schools will be able to remain open for face-to-face learning because only a small part of the site is affected, others will need to either fully or partially relocate to allow safety measures such as propping up ceilings to be put in place.

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