RAAC cement in schools: Risks to children, new DfE guidance

cement dfe raac risk schools Sep 06, 2023
Raac Cement in Schools

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) is a lightweight form of concrete that was used in the construction of many schools in the UK from the 1950s to the mid-1990s. However, RAAC has been found to be susceptible to structural failure, and there have been a number of cases of schools being evacuated due to concerns about the safety of RAAC-containing buildings.

The risks of RAAC failure are particularly acute in schools, where children are especially vulnerable to injury. In the event of a collapse, children could be crushed or trapped under debris. Additionally, RAAC dust can be harmful to breathe in, and there is a risk of exposure to asbestos, which is sometimes used in RAAC.

The Department for Education (DfE) has recently issued new guidance on the management of RAAC in schools. The guidance states that all schools should be inspected for RAAC, and that any buildings found to contain RAAC should be closed until they have been made safe. The guidance also states that schools should put in place measures to mitigate the risks of RAAC failure, such as installing warning signs and restricting access to areas where RAAC is used.

The safeguarding of children is a top priority for the DfE, and the risks of RAAC failure are taken very seriously. The new guidance is designed to ensure that all schools are safe for children to learn and play in.

If you are concerned about the safety of your child's school, you should contact the school directly. You can also contact the DfE for more information.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about RAAC cement in schools and safeguarding children:

  • The risks of RAAC failure are not limited to schools. Any building that contains RAAC is at risk of collapse.
  • The signs of RAAC failure can be subtle, so it is important to be aware of them. Some of the signs to look for include cracks in walls or ceilings, bulging walls, and loose or missing bricks.
  • If you see any signs of RAAC failure, you should contact the building owner or manager immediately.
  • You can also contact the DfE for more information about RAAC and the risks it poses.

By being aware of the risks of RAAC cement and taking steps to mitigate them, we can help to keep children safe in schools and other buildings.

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