Government must come clean on which schools in Sutton are affected by crumbling concrete

4 Sep 2023

The Government has refused to reveal which schools are affected by failing RAAC concrete. The Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to release the list of schools affected. 

104 schools have been told to close buildings because they are at risk of collapse due to the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC). However, a list of schools affected has not been made available by the Department for Education.

Sutton Council has conducted its own investigation into local authority-run schools with one school with RAAC issues identified, the Link Special Academy in Beddington. The school is temporarily closed and action is being taken with the school accordingly.

But many schools, like academies, are not run by the council and the Government has refused to share information about those schools with the council.

The Schools Minister Nick Gibb has also conceded that the Government still does not have a definitive list of all schools that might be affected as they “continue to do more surveying work”. 

Bobby Dean, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Carshalton & Wallington said: 

“The Government must come clean about what schools in Sutton are affected by crumbling concrete. All this secrecy is just causing more unecessary worry for parents and teachers at the start of term. 

“Pupil safety is the absolute priority. Sutton parents need urgent assurances that they are not sending their child back to school in an unsafe building that may collapse.  

“While the council has undertaken its own action, we need more information from the Government. Ministers must urgently tell us about each and every school that has been affected by RAAC. 

“The truth is that we should never have gotten to this point. The Government - and Rishi Sunak in particular - has known about this crumbling concrete for years. But time and again they have failed to come up with the money required to stop schools from collapsing completely."

A Sutton Council spokesperson said:

“The Link is a school for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and we are mindful that the students and their families will find this disruption particularly difficult to manage. We are working closely with The Link Academy Trust and other partners to ensure the best possible arrangements for pupils under these very difficult circumstances.

"We will continue to support the Academy Trust to get this situation resolved as quickly as possible and to minimise the disruption and uncertainty for students and their families.”

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