Launch of new government guidelines on autoclaved reinforced aerated concrete (RAAC) in schools

On August 31, 2023, the Ministry of Education published new direction concerning autoclaved reinforced cellular concrete (RAAC) in schools.

This guidance highlights that urgent action must be taken in all schools with a known RAAC, unless a structural mitigation measure is already in place.

If mitigation measures are not already in place, affected buildings should not be used until the RAAC has been made safe through structural intervention. Investigations will also need to take place to ensure continued safety.

We understand that the vast majority of schools in Essex are not affected.

We have communicated with all schools in Essex and worked quickly to support the minority of schools affected by these new guidelines to minimize disruption to students and families.

How many schools are affected?

Around 50 of the 550 schools in the Essex County Council area are aware of the RAAC. All these schools have been contacted. This includes local authority academies and schools.

Will these 50 schools close?

No, not all 50 will close. The majority of these schools will be open as usual for the return of children from next week as planned. Mitigation measures will already be in place at a number of schools and plans will be put in place for others.

I am a parent/guardian, what should I do?

Unless otherwise advised by your child’s school, parents should ensure that their child attends school as normal at the start of the new term.

Parents and guardians of children in affected schools will receive their child’s school directly with information and updates.

Where can I read the new guidelines?

Read it new direction.

Which schools are affected?

A small number of schools in Essex are affected. Before further information is released, it is important that these schools have time to work on their plans and communicate them directly to parents.

Other useful information for parents is available on the Ministry of Education website.

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