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More than 100 schools told to close buildings over safety fears

(383 Posts)
Wyllow3 Thu 31-Aug-23 17:34:28

.......More than 100 schools told to close buildings over safety fears
www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-66461879

“The impact of this change, just a few days before the start of term, can’t be underestimated for those schools that are affected.

Up until this point, schools with confirmed RAAC were being told to get plans in place just in case buildings had to be evacuated.

Now, all of a sudden, those hypothetical evacuations have become a daunting reality. Schools are being told they can’t use affected buildings unless safety measures are installed.

That’s ok for the 52 schools that already have mitigations in place, but for the 104 schools that don’t, it’s a problem”.

It is not clear who is supposed to pay (see article)

growstuff Fri 01-Sep-23 09:07:05

The issue was discussed in the House of Lords in June.

hansard.parliament.uk/lords/2023-06-20/debates/7C03C9E8-12AC-4259-AA42-FA73FFE8DC5C/SchoolBuildingsSafety

Glorianny Fri 01-Sep-23 09:33:37

Well it's fairly obvious why nothing has been done so far. It was a bit of a gamble that nothing would need to be done until after the next election. Even now I would imagine the government are trying to work out how much of the cost they can hold off on paying and load onto the next government.

DiamondLily Fri 01-Sep-23 09:38:26

The government/DofE seem to have confirmed that schools, nurseries, and colleges will have to fund alternative accommodation themselves.

They are also refusing to issue a list of schools affected, for some reason.

"Official guidance has now been issued to schools, school nurseries and colleges - which have been told they will have to fund their own emergency accommodation"

Media have cobbled together a bit of a list from local reports:

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12469123/School-closing-list-RAAC-concrete-building-collapses.html

HelterSkelter1 Fri 01-Sep-23 09:54:29

Right 40 new hospitals, 100+ new schools, 300K new houses loads of migrant accommodation and so few of our youngsters being trained as builders. This government certainly has its work cut out for before the next election. Creek and paddle come to mind!

Wyllow3 Fri 01-Sep-23 09:57:28

From interviews with teachers it appears before the summer holidays the extent was known but no immediate action demanded, but it has only just been changed to action must be taken.
It was pointed out that it's one problem to provide extra normal classrooms, but specialised facilities like science have just not been addressed.

Chocolatelovinggran Fri 01-Sep-23 09:58:36

A local secondary school has been told to close one wing (17 classrooms)
The students will be in the ( divided) sports hall and dining room, plus some in corridors.
A staff room is being used also: not the best start to the year for pupils or teachers.

DaisyAnneReturns Fri 01-Sep-23 10:23:28

Germanshepherdsmum

Better now than wait for an accident to happen.

What sort of excuse is that for sub-standard buildings. If it was only this that was making Britain unfit for human habitation in the last 13 years then, perhaps, there would be a scintilla of room for excuse, but it is in a long line of closing their eyes.

Didn't proper Conservatives build to last and 'conserve'. This set of wide boys haven't a clue.

Callistemon21 Fri 01-Sep-23 10:31:07

This has been a disaster waiting to happen since these prefab buildings were thrown up as cheaply as possible in the 1960s to 1980s.

It's amazing that many Victorian buildings are still standing although many need extensive refurbishment.

Callistemon21 Fri 01-Sep-23 10:33:15

www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/victorian-school-buildings-please-don-t-destroy-our-heritage-413974.html

An interesting piece from exactly 17 years ago.
31st August 2006.

Lovetopaint037 Fri 01-Sep-23 10:36:34

Urmstongran

CoolCoco

A prep school near me has recently been fined £800,000 under H and S regulations as a ceiling collapsed on top of a class of children, fortunately no one seriously injured but more by luck than anything. Maybe that case has spurred our zombie government into some kind of too late action.

I read this was because the school in question had used the floor above inappropriately as storage for equipment that was too heavy to bear the load. Hence the fine. Different problem altogether.

That reason sounds exceptionally odd. What kind of a floor was built that cannot hold normal storage even if it amounted to a considerable weight?

westendgirl Fri 01-Sep-23 10:39:30

I believe that the reason for no publication of a list is that the government does not know .Some schools have not been told yesterday if they were on the list. They were to be told today.
Education has always been the Cinderella of the departments.Eight Education Secretaries in five years ( and five in one year ) does not lead to stability.Look at the quality of some of them too .

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 01-Sep-23 10:42:55

I didn’t offer an excuse DAR.

RAAC was used in schools from the 50s to the 90s. Which parties were in power over that period? Not only Conservatives.

MaizieD Fri 01-Sep-23 10:45:32

Lovetopaint037

Urmstongran

CoolCoco

A prep school near me has recently been fined £800,000 under H and S regulations as a ceiling collapsed on top of a class of children, fortunately no one seriously injured but more by luck than anything. Maybe that case has spurred our zombie government into some kind of too late action.

I read this was because the school in question had used the floor above inappropriately as storage for equipment that was too heavy to bear the load. Hence the fine. Different problem altogether.

That reason sounds exceptionally odd. What kind of a floor was built that cannot hold normal storage even if it amounted to a considerable weight?

It wasn't a 'floor', IIRC, it was an attic space. Used to store desks and chairs.

It must have been pretty scaring when they came raining down through the ceiling. Quite a number of broken bones as a result.

However, although not directly concerned with the AAC concrete, it does demonstrate that collapses in parts of a building can have quite serious consequences.

MaizieD Fri 01-Sep-23 10:50:56

DaisyAnneReturns

Germanshepherdsmum

Better now than wait for an accident to happen.

What sort of excuse is that for sub-standard buildings. If it was only this that was making Britain unfit for human habitation in the last 13 years then, perhaps, there would be a scintilla of room for excuse, but it is in a long line of closing their eyes.

Didn't proper Conservatives build to last and 'conserve'. This set of wide boys haven't a clue.

They weren't substandard when they were built, it's just that they have passed their 'expiry date'.

Though why governments should have gone for building schools and hospitals only expected to last for a few decades is a bit of a mystery.

I just wonder how the rash of PFI built schools and hospitals from the '90s and early 2,000s will be holding up in 50 years time.

Chestnut Fri 01-Sep-23 10:51:47

Callistemon21

This has been a disaster waiting to happen since these prefab buildings were thrown up as cheaply as possible in the 1960s to 1980s.

It's amazing that many Victorian buildings are still standing although many need extensive refurbishment.

Exactly what I was about to say! We are still living in and using Victorian buildings which were built to last. My house is 100 years old now and solid as a rock. I also lived in a 1940s house which was built good and strong. Then WW2 caused a complete meltdown in house building and subsequently everything was built cheaply. But then everything has to be built again, so it's false economy. All I can say is thank goodness for the Victorians and Edwardians, otherwise we would have nothing left standing.

DaisyAnneReturns Fri 01-Sep-23 10:53:13

Callistemon21

This has been a disaster waiting to happen since these prefab buildings were thrown up as cheaply as possible in the 1960s to 1980s.

It's amazing that many Victorian buildings are still standing although many need extensive refurbishment.

They were told RAAC only had a 30 year lifespan Callistemon. I expect some of this to land at the feet of Labour too.

We have got to have a government that plans for the future and not just the life-span of the average political career.

growstuff I'm not surprised the HoL did its job properly. You might find this interesting. It Chris Bryant talking, after a short bit about Dorries not attending Parliament, about how the HoC's rules could be strengthened generally.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEzTwfP_UVY

Callistemon21 Fri 01-Sep-23 11:06:32

DaisyAnneReturns

Callistemon21

This has been a disaster waiting to happen since these prefab buildings were thrown up as cheaply as possible in the 1960s to 1980s.

It's amazing that many Victorian buildings are still standing although many need extensive refurbishment.

They were told RAAC only had a 30 year lifespan Callistemon. I expect some of this to land at the feet of Labour too.

We have got to have a government that plans for the future and not just the life-span of the average political career.

growstuff I'm not surprised the HoL did its job properly. You might find this interesting. It Chris Bryant talking, after a short bit about Dorries not attending Parliament, about how the HoC's rules could be strengthened generally.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEzTwfP_UVY

The prefabs that were built as emergency housing stock after WW2 were lived in for very many years and I think some still are.

They were obviously of sturdier construction than the later constructions.

MaizieD Fri 01-Sep-23 11:10:46

Callistemon21

This has been a disaster waiting to happen since these prefab buildings were thrown up as cheaply as possible in the 1960s to 1980s.

It's amazing that many Victorian buildings are still standing although many need extensive refurbishment.

Interesting, though, that many of the post WW2 prefab houses are still standing, and sound, even though they were only meant to last for 10 years.

It's the quality of the build that is important, isn't i?

www.adrianflux.co.uk/blog/2021/04/prefabricated-homes/

Iam64 Fri 01-Sep-23 11:10:58

It’s good to see references to our Victorian and Edwardian buildings, still standing and functional.

MaizieD Fri 01-Sep-23 11:11:37

Oh, great minds, Callistemon grin

DaisyAnneReturns Fri 01-Sep-23 11:24:14

Callistemon21

DaisyAnneReturns

Callistemon21

This has been a disaster waiting to happen since these prefab buildings were thrown up as cheaply as possible in the 1960s to 1980s.

It's amazing that many Victorian buildings are still standing although many need extensive refurbishment.

They were told RAAC only had a 30 year lifespan Callistemon. I expect some of this to land at the feet of Labour too.

We have got to have a government that plans for the future and not just the life-span of the average political career.

growstuff I'm not surprised the HoL did its job properly. You might find this interesting. It Chris Bryant talking, after a short bit about Dorries not attending Parliament, about how the HoC's rules could be strengthened generally.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEzTwfP_UVY

The prefabs that were built as emergency housing stock after WW2 were lived in for very many years and I think some still are.

They were obviously of sturdier construction than the later constructions.

Indeed.

Callistemon21 Fri 01-Sep-23 11:25:45

I visited wider family who lived in prefabs many years ago, they were roomy and cosy, very well-designed.
Bigger than our little brick-built semi-detached too.

Luckygirl3 Fri 01-Sep-23 11:59:32

I heard a news report that said this problem has been known about since the 1990s and the material was always known to have a limited lifespan. A bit shortsighted really.
I am glad that is being sorted now. It seems crazy that schools are bombarded with Safeguarding rules but have been operating in buildings in danger of imminent collapse. There has been so much time to sort this.

MaizieD Fri 01-Sep-23 12:03:59

Iam64

It’s good to see references to our Victorian and Edwardian buildings, still standing and functional.

I wonder if the durability of our older housing and institutional buildings created an assumption that all 'modern' building work would be as durable?

karmalady Fri 01-Sep-23 12:15:30

PFI was opened to tender and the cheapest companies got the work. Companies like that of DH always tendered but their prices were higher, as they never cut corners. The unscrupulous builders threw the buildings up and many have vanished off the scene. You get what you pay for and it was all very short-term