Sheffield RAAC: Undiscovered 'unsafe' concrete in more Sheffield schools 'not ruled out', says council

The last building surveys for schools in Sheffield in 2018 did not look for the problem material.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Sheffield City Council 'cannot rule out' that more schools in the city could be made from 'unsafe' concrete.

More than 100 schools in England have had to shut over safety fears linked to a 'crumbly' historic building material called RAAC.

File photo of workmen in West Lothian. Sheffield City Council says it cannot rule out that more RAAC is present in its maintained schools.File photo of workmen in West Lothian. Sheffield City Council says it cannot rule out that more RAAC is present in its maintained schools.
File photo of workmen in West Lothian. Sheffield City Council says it cannot rule out that more RAAC is present in its maintained schools.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Only a single school in Sheffield - Abbey Lane Primary - is so far affected, which opened as normal on the first day of term this week (September 5) as the material is only located in its kitchen area.

However, the city council has now confirmed the last round of building surveys in 2018 did not specifically look for the 'unsafe' material - meaning the number of schools made with the problem material could be higher.

New building surveys looking for RAAC will begin this year.

Councillor Dawn Dale, chair of Children, Young People and Families Policy Committee, said: “We want to be 100 per cent confident that our schools don’t have RAAC and if they do, that we put in the correct measures to ensure everyone’s safety and minimal disruption to our children’s education. We will work closely with schools on this.

“We are not aware of any other schools with RAAC at this stage. Our last comprehensive schools’ surveys were done in 2018. Previous surveys were asked to look at the condition of buildings and other elements including roofs, windows, and heating, but not RAAC.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"RAAC was not ruled out in 2018, but this year all of our schools will be surveyed and RAAC assessments will be part of our survey programme."

It comes after The Star reported in July how over £100m of repairs are needed across all of Sheffield's maintained schools, £45m of which were classed as "urgent".

Following enquiries by The Star in July, Sheffield City Council says it is “confident” no pupils or staff at any of its schools are “at imminent risk or danger”.

£620,000 of repair work to remove the RAAC from Abbey Lane Primary began in July before the safety warning broke nationally on August 31. The work is scheduled to be finished by December 1, 2023.

The council says a temporary kitchen unit has been arranged so that pupils aren’t affected by any disruption.