“Everything Possible” must be done by Government on RAAC, says Priti Patel MP

Honywood Headteacher James Saunders shows Priti and Cllr Andrew Sheldon (Deputy Cabinet Member for Education at Essex County Council) plans outlining the number of classrooms currently closed at the school

“Everything Possible” must be done by Government on RAAC, says Priti Patel MP

Published: 7th September 2023 - 9:00 pm Category: Local News

Witham MP Priti Patel has called on the Government to do “everything possible” to address the RAAC concerns affecting schools in the Witham constituency and in Essex. Speaking on Wednesday in the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Question Time and during a debate on the safety of school buildings, Priti highlighted the actions being taken to address the situation in Essex, the help businesses and community groups are providing and the support needed for pupils. She has also questioned the Government over the funding being made available, receiving an assurance from the Prime Minister that funds will be provided to meet costs incurred.

Priti speaking with Thurstable Headteacher James Ketley
Priti speaking with Thurstable Headteacher James Ketley

Following her comments in the House of Commons, Priti has also visited two of the schools affected by partial closures in her constituency today –Thurstable School Sports College and Sixth Form Centre in Tiptree, and Honywood Community Science School in Coggeshall, alongside Cllr Andrew Sheldon, deputy cabinet member for Education at Essex County Council. She later joined Essex County Council Cabinet Members and educational officials, along with other local Essex MPs, at a meeting with the Education Secretary Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP.

Priti said:

“RAAC has caused worry and concern to schools, pupils and parents and it is important that the Government does everything possible to make buildings safe. This week I have been speaking with all schools affected and have seen the buildings that cannot be used and have been closed as a precaution. The schools and Essex County Council are working to get temporary classrooms and facilities available as soon as possible and I have discussed their plans to manage this situation.”

“I pay tribute to them for their hard work during this difficult time and the focus being given to get pupils back into classrooms and face-to-face lessons. Those schools will be providing updates to pupils and parents.”

“The Prime Minister has given clear assurances to me on funding for schools and councils and I have discussed the details of all issues affecting local schools with the Education Secretary. I will keep on pressing the Government until this issue is resolved with temporary measures in place and a clear plan for permanent solutions for each building and school affected.”

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