Hundreds of other school buildings in England have collapsed and are unsafe, British Education Minister Gillian Keegan said on Monday, September 4, 2023, after authorities ordered 104 schools to close buildings made of old and weak concrete.
Revelations of the collapse of school buildings just days before the start of the new school year have spark anger among parents and teachers create a new political problem for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak a head of an election expecte to be next year.
The problem adds to the poor image of public infrastructure in England, which has seen months of disruptive strikes by workers including in hospitals and schools.
Keegan said the government was still waiting for a response from about 1500 Schools in England who submitted a survey to identify schools using Autoclaved Reinforced Aerated Concrete (RAAC). A form of lightweight concrete commonly used in the 1960s-80s but now considered weak and unsafe.
Keegan told BBC Radio that schools suspected of having an RAAC would be examine in the next two weeks, adding that “the vast majority of those schools will not have an RAAC”.
When asked if there could be hundreds more schools, he acknowledged that “there could be hundreds”.
Sunak said 95% of England’s around 22,000 schools
would not be affect. Adding to the pressure on the prime minister. A former top civil servant in the education department said that Sunak. In his previous role as finance minister. Had halved the annual fund to repair schools when officials ask for it to be double.
“We say there is a critical risk to life if this program is not fund.” Former Permanent Secretary Jonathan Slater told BBC Radio.
Asked whether he was to blame. Sunak said it was “absolutely wrong” and that the funding He had agree to was in line with decisions taken decade earlier.