Camden statement on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC)
Councillor Marcus Boyland, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families at Camden Council, has given the following update on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), as pupils and teaching staff return to schools in Camden.
As the school term begins, I want to update Camden’s pupils, parents and staff on the communication we have had from Government, and the checks carried out in Camden, in relation to Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC). We are taking this national issue very seriously and investigating thoroughly here in Camden.
“It remains the case that all Camden schools are open for the start of the school year. On 31 August, the Department for Education (DfE) issued guidance to schools regarding RAAC on school sites. The DfE have not instructed us to close any Camden schools, as they have done in other areas. However, we want to be assured ourselves and have been carrying out a full programme of safety inspections.
“Camden Council has surveyed all schools it is responsible for and has reported these results to the DfE. We are continuing to make checks above and beyond those we are required to, to put safety first.
“Where the Council is not directly responsible for the maintenance of school buildings, such as our Faith Schools, Free Schools and Academies, we are continuing to offer support to the schools and work with them to ensure all necessary checks are being made.
“If we receive any information that suggests we need to act to keep children safe, I want to assure you that together with our schools we will take immediate action, communicate with you directly and set out what alternative learning arrangements may be necessary.
“The safety of our schools is of paramount importance to us. After losing hundreds of millions of funding for our schools from the Government’s cuts to Building Schools for the Future, the Community Investment Programme has enabled us to invest £165m in our family of schools. We will continue to do everything in our power to support our schools as we call for national school building investment.