England’s Department of Education has temporarily closed more than 100 English-language institutions. Many classes will have to move for the new school year because the concrete used is considered unsafe.
Days before the start of the new school year in Great Britain, dozens of schools, colleges and kindergartens in England had to close due to the risk of rooms and buildings collapsing. The British Ministry of Education has said that educational institutions with buildings made of a certain type of aerated concrete are affected.
Most schools conduct face-to-face teaching at their locations in rooms that are not affected by concrete. However, a “minority” has to go to alternative accommodation in whole or in part.
More than 100 schools have not taken any action
From the 1950s to the 1990s, RAAC (reinforced aerated concrete) was used in the construction of schools and colleges – mostly in the form of panels on flat roofs, but occasionally in pitched roofs, floors and walls, according to the BBC.
The ministry warned schools in 2018 that measures were needed to reduce the risk after authorities identified a risk of collapse over time. While work has been done in several schools, 104 facilities have not taken any action.
“Some cases raised concerns”
“Nothing is more important than the safety of children and staff in schools and colleges,” Education Minister Gillian Keegan said. “That’s why we’re taking action now before the start of the new semester based on new findings.” The government is taking a “precautionary approach” and “a number of cases have caused concern” over the summer.
The government provided financial assistance to schools to carry out the most urgent work. However, there were critics of the government’s handling of the issue, including from trade unions and opposition parties. They accused him of acting too late. There are more than 20,000 schools in the UK, according to the BBC.
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