Leeds school named on Government list of buildings with confirmed controversial concrete amid national concerns

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A Leeds school has appeared an official Government list of confirmed schools built using the controversial reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

Woodkirk Academy, Tingley, was included on the official list published by the Department for Education (DfE) today (Wednesday, September 6), as one of over 100 schools nationwide that feature a type of concrete, described as “80 per cent air” and “like an Aero Bar”.

Face-to-face lessons at the schools are continuing, according to the information published on the DfE’s list.

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Known as reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), the material was used to construct schools, colleges, and other buildings between the 1950s and mid-’70s in the UK, but has since been found to be “susceptible to failure.”

Woodkirk Academy, Tingley, was included on the official list published by the Department for Education today. Picture: James HardistyWoodkirk Academy, Tingley, was included on the official list published by the Department for Education today. Picture: James Hardisty
Woodkirk Academy, Tingley, was included on the official list published by the Department for Education today. Picture: James Hardisty

The majority of settings, including Woodkirk Academy, have already been able to put mitigations in place in order to open on time and still provide face-to-face learning for pupils this week.

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, said: “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.

“Thanks to the hard work of schools, colleges, councils, diocese and academy trusts, the majority of settings where RAAC has been confirmed have opened to all pupils for the start of term.

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In a statement provided to the Yorkshire Evening Post last week, Leeds City Council said that they are “assessing any potential impact” but that “no schools in Leeds have been required to close at this stage”.

Woodkirk Academy and Leeds City Council have been contacted for comment.