Classrooms in more schools may be ordered closed due to legitimate safety concerns, says minister.

The schools minister has conceded that more schools may be told they need to close classrooms due to the usage of concrete that may unexpectedly collapse.

After official instructions stated that schools will have to finance the emergency measures, Nick Gibb emphasized that the Government will pay for the price of temporary housing.

Just as students were getting ready to return to class following the summer break, the Department of Education (DfE) issued orders for 104 educational institutions to either temporarily or permanently shut down operations.

Mr. Gibb acknowledged, however, that when evidence on the presence of Raac is gathered, more schools may be advised to close.

“There may be more after that as these questionnaires continue to be surveyed and we continue to do more surveying work,” he said to GB News.

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Mr. Gibb, however, maintained that students and their guardians need not worry about the potential danger during the wait for the results.

“No, they shouldn’t worry,” he reassured them.
That’s a very careful approach, so parents should rest assured that their children can return to school if they haven’t heard otherwise from the school.
When ministers were criticized for not informing schools of the closures until a few days before students returned for the fall semester, he replied, “We took the decision as soon as the evidence emerged.”

Mr. Gibb stated that “over the summer,” they found several instances when Raac that had been thought to be low risk “actually turned out to be unsafe.”
As he explained on the Today show on BBC Radio 4, a “beam collapsed” despite there being no outward indications of the “critical risk” he described.

The minister has announced that the official guidance will be revised because it suggested that schools would be responsible for covering the cost of temporary housing.
Because of their misunderstanding, he said, “we will clarify the guidance at our expense.” Today.

In the event of an emergency, the department will pay for the installation of Portakabins on school grounds.
DfE officials stated Thursday that they had reached out to the remaining 104 schools after 52 of the 156 schools with the concrete had already taken precautions.
For the duration of the installation of security measures, the government has stated that a “minority” will be required to “either fully or partially relocate” to temporary housing.
For the “first few weeks” until structural supports are installed, it was suggested that people use adjacent schools, community centers, or a “empty local office building” as temporary housing.

Pandemic-style distance education was suggested as a “last resort and for a short period” for schools.
The Labor Party has requested the Government disclose the full list of affected institutions.
Once schools are in a “stable place,” Mr. Gibb said on Today, “we will publish a list” of those who have been impacted.
Raac is a lightweight construction material that was popular from the 1950s until the mid-1990s but is now thought to be unsafe.
The Department for Education (DfE) has been thinking about Raac as a problem since late 2018, but the timing of the decision to publish guidance just days before the start of term has outraged unions.

“It is absolutely disgraceful and a sign of gross Government incompetence that a few days before the start of term 104 schools are finding out that some or all of their buildings are unsafe and cannot be used,” said Daniel Kebede, general secretary of the National Education Union.To rub salt in the wound, the government explicitly declares in its directives that it will not pay for emergency temporary housing or transportation.
On Thursday, Bradford’s city council said that Raac had been found at two of the city’s elementary schools, Crossflatts and Eldwick, both located in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Bradford Council claims that emergency repairs and permanent renovations are being made so that children can be housed at both locations.

Temporary classrooms have been ordered for both school sites and are expected to arrive within the next 8-10 weeks at Crossflatts and 14-16 weeks at Eldwick, according to the council.
The BBC also lists Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School in Brixton, south London, and Willowbrook Mead Primary Academy in Leicester as schools that have been affected.

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