Priti raises RAAC issues in House of Commons
Witham MP Priti Patel has questioned the Secretary of State for Education over the support available to schools and pupils affected by the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).
One primary school in the Witham constituency is not able to provide face-to-face teaching, two secondary schools are partially closed and other schools have mitigations in place and are being surveyed for RAAC risks. During a statement in the House of Commons, Priti paid tribute to the work that Essex County Council have undertaken and called on the Government to fully fund all costs that schools, councils and academy trusts are incurring.
Priti also questioned the Secretary of State over the support available for children with special needs and asked for consideration to be given to any impacts on Ofsted inspections and exams for schools and pupils affected. Priti said:
“The safety of pupils, teachers and staff must always come first and the presence of RAAC in schools in my constituency is a cause of concern. This is a very difficult and frustrating situation for the pupils, parents and schools affected and the decision taken so close to the start of term to close buildings will prevent some pupils having face-to-face teaching. The schools affected are in direct contact with parents and they will be doing all they can to minimise the disruption to learning and maintain as much face-to-face direct teaching as possible.
“I am in contact with Essex County Council and all schools in my constituency that are affected and assisting them. I will continue to press the Government to support them to minimise disruption, make safe any buildings with RAAC and ensure that a full programme of teaching can be restored as quickly as possible.”