Shadwell Childcare: Leeds council issues update as nursery roof set to be replaced after crumbling concrete found
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Shadwell Childcare, which operates in the old caretaker’s bungalow at Shadwell Primary School, was partially closed last week after controversial RAAC (Reinforced Autoclave Aerated Concrete) was discovered. Described as “80 per cent air” and “like an Aero Bar”, RAAC 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.”
Leeds City Council confirmed the discovery earlier this month and that the nursery would be “closed as a precautionary measure”, while they worked with the school and the nursery provider to agree next steps. And in an update provided to the Yorkshire Evening Post this week, Leeds council confirmed that plans are now being put in place to replace the affected roof.
A council spokesperson said: “The council has worked with the nursery provider and has agreed to bring forward a scheme to replace the affected roof of the building occupied by Shadwell Childcare Ltd as soon as possible. In the meantime, the nursery continues to operate from temporary accommodation to minimise disruption to parents.”
It is understood that no RAAC has been found within the main primary school building itself on the site, with teaching there unaffected.
Woodkirk Academy in Tingley is the only other school in Leeds known to be affected by RAAC at this stage. A small area of the secondary school was closed earlier this month after the concrete was discovered.
Leeds council’s deputy leader Jonathan Pryor, who is also the authority’s executive member for education, told the YEP earlier this month that he voiced ‘critical’ concerns to the Government’s Department for Education (DfE) eight times between July 2018 and December 2021.
He said: “The Government have known about these school building concerns for years and chose to ignore all warnings and pleas from us here in Leeds. It has been reported that while he was Chancellor, Rishi Sunak was warned of a ‘critical risk to life’ if he did not properly fund school repairs and he still cut that money.
“We need to know exactly what advice Sunak was provided with and when, the Prime Minister has some very serious questions to answer.”