Scottish Government confirms collapse risk concrete present at 35 schools

The Scottish Government has confirmed Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (Raac) has been found in 35 schools across Scotland.

The material is a lightweight concrete used from the 1950s up to the mid-1990s which is being assessed after it was linked to the collapse of the roof at Singlewell Primary School in Kent in 2018.

On Friday evening, the Scottish Government said it has “sought to reassure ministers” that mitigation is in place to avoid disruption at the 35 schools.

Pupils at the 104 schools south of the border will be placed in temporary accommodation amid the presence of Raac.

Earlier on Friday, The Scottish Government confirmed work was under way to fully understand the presence of Raac across the school estate in Scotland, with local authorities expected to prioritise remedial work.

Aerated concrete blocks
Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete has been linked to the collapse of a school roof in Kent (Alamy/PA)

Figures obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats in May claimed the substance was present in at least 37 schools in Scotland.

Ministers have also stressed pupils will not be taught in the parts of buildings where the concrete is considered a risk.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “This is an issue that all parties are taking seriously and reviews of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (Raac) in property have been conducted by local authorities, NHS Scotland and other public sector organisations for some time so we can all fully understand the scope of Raac, including in the school estate.

“We have now received returns from all local authorities and councils have sought to reassure ministers that in the small number of schools where they have identified Raac, appropriate mitigation plans have already been put in place to ensure the safety of pupils and staff, including ensuring that pupils are not being taught in parts of buildings at risk due to Raac.

“Ministers are clear that they expect local authorities to continue to monitor the situation and we will continue to work closely with them in their response to the challenge.”