'We're doing everything we can' to protect schools from risky concrete, Hunt says, as Labour urges govt to 'come clean'

3 September 2023, 09:00 | Updated: 7 September 2023, 11:32

At least 150 schools have been affected so far
At least 150 schools have been affected so far. Picture: Getty/Alamy/LBC
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Jeremy Hunt has insisted the government is doing "everything we can" to keep schools safe from a potentially dangerous type of concrete present in schools.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

More than 100 schools have been forced to close buildings due to the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

Mr Hunt has insisted the government acted to keep schools safe as soon as problems were identified and said he wanted to reassure parents the government "will act...where there is an issue".

While at least 156 schools have been affected so far, the extent of the problem is not yet clear, with the Department for Education so far failing to publish a full list.

Labour's Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson told LBC the government's response has been "completely unacceptable", urging the government to release a full list of affected schools.

“Here we are, 13 years on, we’re facing major problems…with crumbling schools and the potential for huge disruption to lots of our children at the start of the school term," Ms Phillipson told LBC.

"I think that’s completely unacceptable but I also believe ministers need to come clean about the full extent of all of this. We still don’t have a full list of schools that have been affected.

"I’m not sure we can be confident that they’ve captured all of the schools that have this crumbling concrete within them."

Jeremy Hunt has said the government is doing "everything we can" to keep schools safe
Jeremy Hunt has said the government is doing "everything we can" to keep schools safe. Picture: Getty

Asked whether he can reassure parents that their children are safe, Mr Hunt told Sky: "We are doing everything we can to make sure that is the case and we can absolutely promise that the government will take action immediately when we know there is any kind of risk."

Read More: 'Time to see the job through': Jeremy Hunt vows pressure on households will 'ease' as he insists inflation is falling

Read More: Children could remain in ‘building site’ classrooms for years to come amid growing concrete safety concerns

It comes amid concerns pupils could be force to study on 'building site classrooms' as work continues to make sure classrooms are safe from RAAC.

RAAC was a common building material in the second half of the 20th century but it is feared to be prone to coming down, having been compared to the inside of an Aero bar.

Some schools will need to relocate to new accommodation while safety measures are taken, with some having their ceilings propped up.

The Department for Education (DfE) has so far failed to publish an official full list of schools with RAAC, though it is understood the following schools have been affected.

Full list of affected schools so far

52 schools have been shut
Parks Primary School in Leicester . Picture: PA
  • Abbey Lane Primary School, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  • Arthur Bugler Primary School, Standford-le-Hope,Thurrock
  • The Appleton School, Essex
  • The Billericay School, Billericay, Essex
  • Buckhurst Hill Community Primary School, Essex
  • Canon Slade School, Bolton, Greater Manchester
  • Carmel College and Sixth Form, Darlington, County Durham
  • Clacton County High School, Clacton, Essex
  • Claydon High School, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Cleeve Park School, Sidcup
  • Cockermouth School, Cockermouth, Cumbria
  • The Coopers' Company and Coburn School, Essex
  • Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, Brixton, London
  • Cranbourne College, Basingstoke, Hampshire
  • Crossflatts Primary School, Bradford, West Yorkshire
  • Donnington Wood Infants School, Donnington, Telford, Shropshire
  • East Bergholt High School, Colchester, Essex
  • Eldwick Primary School, Bradford, West Yorkshire
  • The Ellen Wilkinson School, London
  • Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge, Suffolk
  • Fulwood Secondary, Preston, Lancashire
  • Ferryhill School, a secondary in County Durham
  • The Gilberd School, Colchester, Essex
  • Greenway Junior School, Horsham
  • Hadleigh High School, Hadleigh, Suffolk
  • Hatfield Peverel Junior School, Chelmsford, Essex
  • Hockley Primary School, Hockley, Essex
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Academy, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire
  • Honywood School, Colchester, Essex
  • Jerounds Primary School in Harlow, Essex
  • Katherines Primary Academy, Harlow, Essex
  • Kingsdown School, Southend-on-Sea, Essex
  • Mayflower Primary School, Leicester, Leicestershire
  • Myton School, Warwick, Warwickshire
  • Northampton International Academy
  • Our Lady's Catholic High School, Preston, Lancashire
  • Outwoods Primary School, Atherstone, North Warwickshire
  • Parks Primary, Leicester, Leicestershire
  • Pershore High School, Worcestershire
  • Ramsey Academy, Halstead, Essex
  • Ravens Academy, Clacton-On-Sea, Essex
  • Scalby School, Scarborough
  • St Bartholomew's Catholic Primary School, Kent
  • St Bede's Catholic School and Byron Sixth Form College, County Durham
  • St Clere's School, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex
  • St Gregory's Catholic Science College, Harrow, London
  • St James Catholic Primary School, Hebburn, Tyne and Wear
  • St Leonard's School, Durham, County Durham
  • St Teresa's Catholic Primary School, Darlington, County Durham
  • St Thomas More Catholic Comprehensive, Eltham, London
  • Tendring Technology College, Frinton Campus, Essex
  • Thomas Lord Audley School, Colchester, Essex
  • Thurstable school and sixth form, Essex
  • White Hall Academy primary, Clacton, Essex
  • Willowbrook Mead Primary Academy, Leicester, Leicestershire
  • Winter Gardens Academy, Canvey Island, Essex
  • Wood Green Academy, Wednesbury, West Midlands
  • Woodville Primary School, South Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford, Essex
  • Wyburns Primary School, Rayleigh, Essex