Jeremy Hunt has promised to “spend what it takes” to repair dilapidated school buildings.

Jeremy Hunt has promised to “spend what it takes” to repair dilapidated school buildings.

Concerns about deteriorating concrete forced schools to close right before the start of the new term, but Education Secretary Jeremy Hunt has promised to “spend what it takes” to make schools safe.

After officials were criticized for not responding swiftly enough to 2018 safety concerns, the Chancellor took steps to reassure parents that a “exhaustive process” had been undertaken to uncover any unsafe facilities.

While he did not deny the dangers of Raac, he did say that the issue of asbestos in schools is also being taken into account.

He said that Gillian Keegan, the secretary of education, had “acted immediately” when fresh information concerning the dangers of Raac, a lightweight substance used until the mid-1990s, emerged over the summer.

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On the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg show, Mr. Hunt said, “We will spend what it takes to make sure children can go to school safely, yes.” He declined to provide an estimate for the cost of a solution.
Rachel de Souza, the commissioner for children, expressed gratitude for the financial commitment but lamented, “we shouldn’t even have been in this situation.”

There should have been planning in place and a really strong school building strategy that has addressed this throughout the years,” she said on the same broadcast.Do we really have to settle with anything less than secure, purpose-built structures? The money isn’t going fast enough, and there isn’t enough of it.

The problem could become “the defining image of 13 years of Tory government,” according to Labour, which called the expenditure plan a “bare bones” reaction.
After the recent fall of a beam that was thought to be safe, the Department of Education (DfE) instructed more than 100 schools and colleges to either completely or partially close their facilities.

On Sunday, Mr. Hunt warned other structural issues could emerge in the coming “weeks or months,” and on Monday, Schools Minister Nick Gibb admitted more classes could be forced to close.
The extent to which asbestos’ presence in public facilities like schools has exacerbated the problem is still up for debate.

When asked whether the government will take action on “Raac or the wider asbestos issue,” the Chancellor assured the public on Sunday that they would.
He said on Sky News’s Sunday With Trevor Phillips, “We have 22,000 schools in the country, and there has been since that incident a huge programme going through this Raac/asbestos issue because we want to be absolutely sure that every child is safe.”

Ms. Keegan has assured the public there would be no “return to the dark days of lockdown” as a result of the crisis, despite recommendations that schools resort to pandemic-style remote learning if they are unable to hold in-person classes.
After a “handful of cases” where Raac had failed, she wrote that there was “no choice” except closures in The Sun On Sunday.

The Government has stated that children will not be left without access to classrooms for months and that remote learning should last “days, not weeks,” but ministers have refused to provide further specifics about when the disruption might end.
In a statement, Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson stated, “I can think of no more defining image of 13 years of Tory Government (than) children being sat in classrooms under metal props to prevent ceilings from falling on their heads.”

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