Bradford schools lose teaching spaces and kitchen over aerated concrete

Teaching spaces, staffing facilities and a kitchen have been lost across two schools in Bradford after the Government ordered closures over a concrete prone to collapse.

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) was detected in Crossflatts Primary School and Eldwick Primary School in the West Yorkshire city.

Both interim and long-term alteration works are being carried out to ensure children can be accommodated on the two sites, according to Bradford Council.

The local authority said: “At least eight teaching spaces across both sites have been lost, alongside other staffing facilities across both sites and the loss of the kitchen at Crossflatts.”

Access to areas of the schools where RAAC is present is “prohibited” and only “qualified concrete specialists” will be allowed to enter those spaces.

The council said interim alterations to safe areas will be finished by Sunday and “temporary classrooms” on both school sites have been ordered and should arrive within the next 8-10 weeks at Crossflatts and 14-16 weeks at Eldwick.

Sue Lowndes, assistant director of schools & learning for Bradford Council, thanked headteachers, school and council staff for their work in ensuring schools are safe and “able to open in September”.

“We are putting plans in place for those two schools to make sure no one is put at risk and also to minimise any disruption to children’s education,” she said.

“We know how important it is to make sure children can continue at school.

“Headteachers at the affected schools are working with parents and staff so we can keep them informed of the changes that are being put in place.”

Elsewhere in Yorkshire, “alternative meal arrangements” are being made for students at a primary school in Sheffield after RAAC was detected there.

Councillor Dawn Dale, chair of education, children and families policy committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “We have worked with parents and carers at Abbey Lane Primary School over the last few months to reassure them that RAAC will have minimal impact on Abbey Lane Primary School.

“Alternative meal arrangements will be in place from next week as the replaced roofing covers the kitchen area. This information has been communicated to parents and carers of children who attend the school.

“Work started in July to replace the RAAC at the school, which will cost £620,000 from our capital budgets. The work is expected to be completed by December 1.”