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HomeUKThe concrete crisis: Is Britain falling apart? - podcast

The concrete crisis: Is Britain falling apart? – podcast

Following the conclusion of a protracted battle with teachers’ unions which meant school days were regularly lost to strikes, Rishi Sunak must have thought the new term would be something of a new beginning for his government when it came to education. education. Instead, more than 100 schools were given a last-minute warning not to reopen certain buildings over fears that children’s safety could be put at risk. Autoclaved reinforced cellular concrete (Raac) is a building material widely used in the post-war years, which is weaker and cheaper than traditional concrete and prone to collapse when exposed to moisture for a long period. Its need to be replaced has been widely known and accepted, but structural failures of parts of buildings previously considered safe caused the government to drastically review its advice.

Peter Walker, deputy political editor, says Nosheen Iqbal that the crisis could hardly be worse for the government – it highlights specific failings in the way budgets and infrastructure projects have been managed during the time the Conservatives were in power, and is emblematic of a country literally falling apart in some places.

For Michael McCluskie, director of the Coast and Vale Learning Trust, which runs Scalby School in North Yorkshire, the crisis has meant the school’s pupils are being excluded from its entire science block, at least until the new year. He says that while Raac was known at the school, until now they had been led to believe he did not pose a serious security risk.

Photo: Adam Vaughan/EPA

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