Failing Concrete: How to know if your child’s school is shutting

Schools and other education settings will let you know directly if there is any change to the start of term.

More than 150 schools and other education settings are affected. About 50 have already been disrupted this year and a further 104 were added to the list on Thursday.

The government has not released a list of the schools. Schools minister Nick Gibb told Sky News it would be published “in due course”.

He also admitted that not all schools have been contacted as of Friday morning, although “the vast majority have”.

More schools are likely to be closed as not all surveys on the concrete use in schools have come in yet, Mr Gibb added.

If my child’s school is affected, will it need to close?

Not all schools that use RAAC in their buildings need to close.

Some may just have the concrete in one building, for example, resulting in the closure of a small number of classrooms.

Others may be able to continue education with very little disruption if the concrete is in a small enough area.

But the number of schools that will have to shut completely is not yet known, Mr Gibb told Sky News on Friday morning.

What will happen in affected schools?

Where RAAC has been used in school buildings, affected areas will be taken out of use.

Guidance issued to schools said they should find emergency or temporary accommodation for the “first few weeks” until buildings are made safe with structural supports.

All affected schools will be assigned a dedicated DfE caseworker, who will help assess the site’s needs and put solutions in place, which could include using other on-site buildings or local spaces, putting in place safety measures in the affected area and, in some cases, erecting temporary buildings.

Schools and colleges are still expected to deliver “face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils and students other than in exceptional circumstances”, the DfE said.

Will schools switch to remote learning?

Pandemic-style remote learning is a last resort that should only be used for short periods, the government has told schools.

“It should only be used where all options to continue face-to-face education – either on your site, at an alternative, or in temporary accommodation – have been exhausted,” the DfE said.

If schools do need to use remote learning, the work should be “high quality, meaningful, ambitious and cover an appropriate range of subjects”, the department added.

What if my child can’t stay at their current school?

In some cases, pupils may be moved to emergency or longer-term temporary accommodation on a different school site.

This would be arranged by the school or college alongside the local authority.

If this happens, they should be able to stay on the roll of their normal school.

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