Two London schools with RAAC concrete among 13 to have rebuild funding cut

A taped off section inside Parks Primary School in Leicester which has been affected with sub-standard reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (PA) (PA Wire)
A taped off section inside Parks Primary School in Leicester which has been affected with sub-standard reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (PA) (PA Wire)

At least two London schools caught up in the crumbling concrete scandal had funding to rebuild withdrawn in 2010, it was revealed on Wednesday.

London Oratory School in Fulham and The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls in Ealing are among more than a dozen British schools confirmed to have reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) that had renovation financing cut by central government.

The work had been signed off under the previous Labour administration, but later scrapped, analysis by the BBC found.

Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council Stephen Cowan told the Standard: “So many schools regularly sought government funding for the poor state of their buildings since 2010, including dealing with crumbly concrete, but they were met with an institutionalised indifference which ignored the consequences for our children.

“There needs to be a public inquiry and the government needs to come forward with some solutions, fast.”

More than 100 school buildings across the country have been found to contain the potentially dangerous RAAC so far.

The Prime Minister is set to face questions about whether government investment could have prevented the crisis both in 2010 and when he was chancellor in 2021.

Rishi Sunak will go up against Sir Keir Starmer in the first prime minister’s questions since the summer recess later on Wednesday.

The Labour leader visited Park View School in Haringey on Wednesday, where 15 classrooms cannot be use because they were found to contain the bubbly concrete six months ago.

He said: “In 2021, a list of schools that needed work done was put before the Prime Minister when he was then Chancellor, and he refused to allow the funding to go forward. And as a direct result, you’ve got pupils this morning who are not in school.”

The PM has insisted claims he is to blame for the problems were “utterly wrong”.

A DfE spokesperson said: “We committed to rebuilding 500 schools over the next decade as part of the Schools Rebuilding Programme and we are on track to deliver that.

“That is on top of 520 schools already delivered since 2015 under the Priority Schools Building Programme.

“The School Rebuilding Programme is in its initial stages of delivery and there will be an increase in the number of projects beginning construction in the next year.”

At least 13 schools, which had building work cancelled in 2010, are on the list of schools with potentially dangerous RAAC concrete.

They are:

London Oratory School - Hammersmith and Fulham, London

The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls - Ealing, London

Aston Manor Academy - Birmingham

Ferryhill School - County Durham

Carmel College - Darlington

The Billericay School - Essex

The Bromfords School - Essex

The Appleton School - Essex

The Gilberd School - Essex

The Thomas Lord Audley School - Essex

Thurstable School Sports College and Sixth Form Centre - Essex

Wood Green Academy - Sandwell, West Midlands

Holy Family Catholic School, Bradford