Canon Slade School in Bolton, c Google Earth

Canon Slade School in Bolton is one of those where RAAC has been found. Credit: Google Earth

RAAC in the North West: Fewer than 10 schools impacted so far

The Department for Education has not released its list of the more than 150 schools that contain the lightweight concrete, however, media reports put the number of schools in the region affected at eight.

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete was a prominent building material used between the 1950s and 1990s. Last week, the government issued an urgent directive for some schools to close because of safety concerns regarding the structural integrity of buildings that contain RAAC.

RAAC has a lifespan of 30 years and has been found in public buildings across the country. RAAC is one of the reasons the reconstruction of Leighton Hospital in Cheshire has been expedited as part of the government’s New Hospitals Programme.

Of the schools impacted in the North West, none are set to be permanently shut down, with most closing off select areas of the building or delaying their opening by a week.

The BBC is reporting that the following five North West schools are impacted:

  • Canon Slade School in Bolton
  • Cockermouth School in Cockermouth
  • Our Lady’s Catholic High School in Preston
  • St Bernard’s School in Bolton
  • St William of York Catholic Primary School in Bolton

The Manchester Evening News’s list includes:

  • Altrincham College
  • All Saints Church of England Primary in Newton Heath
  • Sale Grammar School in Sale

Lancashire County Council has said that of the 303 schools it maintains, no safety concerns have been found because of RAAC. However, the county council did add that a few schools will be undergoing detailed surveys to verify that this is the case.

There have not yet been any reports of Merseyside or Cheshire schools being impacted by the government’s RAAC decision.

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