RAAC update

Community has been working with governments across the UK to ensure that schools where reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) may be present are identified. We continue to recruit and train Community Health and Safety Reps, to ensure that any health and safety issues are identified and dealt with swiftly; with risk assessments carried out and appropriate measures put in place as quickly as possible.

We need to ensure that all of the properties that contain RAAC are identified and the risks that it presents within our education settings are eliminated. Below is an update on the current state of play across the nations of the UK.


Only 2 schools in Wales have so far been identified as containing RAAC. This is a testament to the positive impact of the Welsh Labour Government’s 21st Century schools programme, which ensured that new school buildings continued to be constructed in Wales at the same time as the Tories scrapped the Labour Government’s school rebuilding programme in England in 2010.

We echo the concerns raised by Welsh Government ministers about the UK Department of Education not sharing updated details on its concerns around RAAC with the devolved nations until the eve of the new school term. This is unacceptable and could have potentially put students and school staff at risk.

The Welsh Government is currently undertaking work with further education estates directors in Wales to get a complete picture of the impact of RAAC in the sector. However, the significant capital investment in new campuses across Wales over the last 10 years through the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme means that there is a reduced likelihood of RAAC being found.


A total of 16 Scottish local authorities had found potentially dangerous concrete in their schools by early September, with a further three authorities identifying schools by 11 September (Argyll & Bute, Inverclyde and Moray).  

Nine universities in Scotland have closed or partially closed some of their buildings after RAAC was found to be present.

Dougie Atkinson, Senior Professional Officer for the Community Education Branch in Scotland, met with the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Jenny Gilruth to discuss the work being done in Scotland to address the issue of RAAC in Scottish schools and education settings.

Dougie was reassured to hear that the Scottish Government has had early engagement with Scottish local authorities over the summer and are well on the way to identifying all schools that are affected by RAAC construction and what is being done to manage them. Going forward, she undertook to provide weekly updates on the RAAC issue in Scottish schools which Dougie in turn will share with Community members working in the sector.


174 schools and education settings in England have been identified (at 14 September 2024) to contain RAAC, with Essex having the highest number of schools affected.

Community has continually raised concerns about RAAC in meetings with the Department for Education (DfE) this year. Whilst we welcome the decisive action the department took earlier this month to vacate all spaces or buildings that are known to contain RAAC, more needs to be done to ensure these safety issues are more swiftly and in a way that minimises disruption to young people’s education.

The problem in English schools has been exacerbated by the Conservative government’s failure to deliver new school buildings over the last 13 years. The last UK Labour was going to rebuild 200 schools per year in England – a target that was scrapped by the Conservatives, who have only delivered approximately 50 a year.

DfE guidance:

Northern Ireland

Schools in Northern Ireland are being checked for collapse-prone concrete as a matter of urgency, according to the Department of Education (DE). In a letter to principals, DE has said it has liaised with colleagues in England, and have commissioned the Education Authority (EA) to carry out structural surveys to ascertain the scope and scale of RAAC in schools in Northern Ireland. It has also asked for all educators to be assured that the safety of school staff and pupils are the utmost priority for the department.

Community NEC member Chris Wilson, has been working hard and making enquires to ensure that the Higher Education Settings and universities, where we have many members, do not contain RAAC.

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