Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon & East Thurrock, has welcomed the great news that 5 local schools affected by RAAC will enter into the Government’s School Rebuilding Programme.
Back in September, the House of Commons was told of the presence of RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) in a number of schools and that, due to safety concerns, affected areas should be closed. Since September, Stephen has engaged with affected schools, the Department for Education and sought reassurance from the Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, that ‘any additional revenue costs—reasonable revenue costs incurred by schools would be met by the department to ensure school budgetary concerns would not be a barrier to delivering face-to-face education’.
Following this, Stephen worked with schools and the Department for Education to find both medium-term and long-term solutions, including the provision of superior temporary accommodation and the longer-term option of rebuilding.
Today, the Government has confirmed that 5 schools affected by RAAC in South Basildon and East Thurrock will enter into the School Rebuilding Programme. Arthur Bugler Primary School in Stanford-le-Hope, Ortu Corringham Primary School, East Tilbury Primary School, Eversley Primary School in Basildon, and St Clere’s School in Stanford-le-Hope will all receive new investment for major rebuilding and refurbishment projects.
Stephen Metcalfe said: “The Government has committed to funding major rebuilding projects in 5 schools affected by RAAC. This is fantastic news and a good result for the local area.
Improving education is a priority for me in Parliament. Good-quality learning environments are essential for both teachers and children. I look forward to seeing the results of the Rebuilding Programme.”
The Department for Education said: “Today we have confirmed to schools and colleges how we will fund them to remove RAAC permanently. 119 schools are being included within the School Rebuilding Programme where works to remove RAAC are more extensive or complex. 110 schools and colleges will receive grant funding where works will typically be smaller in scale. 5 schools and colleges have alternative arrangements in place, for example the building will not be part of the school or college estate over the longer term.
Our priority will always be to ensure the safety of pupils and staff, which is why we took a cautious approach for schools and colleges. Although the technical advice does not recommend removal in all cases where it is present, we have taken a precautionary approach for the education estate in England to remove RAAC.”