A primary school situated in Ewell has been confirmed to harbour hazardous concrete that presents a potential risk of structural failure. Danetree Primary School is among the 147 educational facilities across England that have been identified as having reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), a lightweight construction material that was widely used between the 1950s and 1990s but is now regarded as being susceptible to collapse.
A GLF Schools spokesperson for Danetree Primary School told the Epsom and Ewell Times:
“Over the summer the Year 3 block was identified containing RAAC. On Thursday 31 August the Department for Education instructed the Trust to close this building immediately.
“The school then put a plan in place to relocate the Year 3 classes elsewhere within the school, so that the school opened as planned. Parents were advised of this.
“Further surveys have been arranged to clarify longer term plans for the school and we will provide updates to parents as more information is known.”
The Department for Education has recently released a list that reveals all the educational establishments in England where necessary measures were required to address concerns related to concrete structural integrity. The government document affirms that Danetree Primary School has successfully maintained in-person education for all its students, whether on the school premises or in nearby locations. In response to the concrete structural issues, 19 schools in England had to postpone the commencement of the term, while an additional 24 schools implemented remote learning measures, with four schools making a complete shift to remote learning.
Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, expressed her regret over this situation and acknowledged that it was far from the ideal way for parents, teachers, and affected students to begin the new academic term. She reassured the public that the safety of students and staff remains the top priority. She also commended the collective efforts of schools, colleges, local councils, dioceses, and academy trusts in ensuring that the majority of the affected educational settings were able to open their doors to all students at the start of the term. The Education Secretary stated, “I know this is the last way parents, teachers and children affected by this wanted to begin the new term, but it will always be my priority to ensure the safety of pupils and staff.”
Image: Danetree Primary School: Google