Number 10 has dispatched Education Secretary Gillian Keegan to issue an apology for her profanity-laden tirade where she accused various parties of inaction regarding the concrete crisis. However, she later shifted blame onto schools for their slow response. It has been revealed that Ms. Keegan was in Spain with her family in the lead-up to the crisis concerning deteriorating concrete in schools.
The controversy arose as over 100 schools have closed or partially closed due to concerns about dangerous concrete, while another 450 with potential issues are yet to be inspected. Ms. Keegan issued an apology after an angry outburst during a TV interview but later chuckled as she watched the clip in a follow-up interview. She expressed frustration with the delay in receiving questionnaires related to the crisis from responsible bodies and schools.
Aides mentioned that the Education Secretary was “working from home” in Europe between August 25 and Thursday, the day when the closures at over 100 schools were announced. They claimed she continued to chair operational calls daily while in Spain, addressing calls and messages. Ms. Keegan reportedly owns property in Madrid and Marbella, but her exact location in Spain was not disclosed.
Ms. Keegan has announced that a list of all 156 schools affected by the concrete crisis will be published “this week.” She also offered apologies for her use of inappropriate language during the interview and reiterated her commitment to addressing the issue. The Prime Minister’s spokesperson described her language as unacceptable but emphasized the importance of focusing on the situation in schools.
The crisis centers on the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) in school buildings, which has raised safety concerns. Thousands of students in England may face online lessons at the start of the new academic year due to the closures. Ms. Keegan faced a challenging day addressing the crisis on various media platforms, and she is set to make a statement in the House of Commons. The extent of the issue with Raac was brought to light in a report by the National Audit Office in June 2023.
Despite her apology, Ms. Keegan’s outburst was criticized by the opposition, with Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister Stephen Morgan calling it a “staggering display of arrogance” and an insult to affected families.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn