Image courtesy of Seven Mills Primary School.
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Seven Mills Primary in Isle of Dogs identified as having RAAC in school building

Mixed emotions at Seven Mills Primary as students return to face-to-face teaching at the start of term.

Seven Mills Primary School in the Isle of Dogs was named on Wednesday 6 September by the Department of Education (DfE) as one of almost 150 schools with RAAC in its buildings. 

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) was only found in the school hall roof which has been cordoned off, with all year groups able to return for the start of the school year for face-to-face teaching. 

Seven Mills Primary is one of 17 London schools named on the government’s dangerous concrete list. 

Across the country, 19 schools have had to delay the start of term, four schools have returned to remote learning and over one hundred have become a mixture of remote and face-to-face learning. 

Many schools were only notified about the presence of RAAC in their buildings on Thursday 31 August, just days before students were due to start the new year. 

Apsana Begum, Labour MP for Seven Mills’ constituency of Poplar & Limehouse, addressed parliament on Wednesday 6 September. 

She said: ‘I visited the school on Friday and saw for myself the logistical challenges that the school has had to overcome at such short notice so that they can deliver teaching, school lunches, and physical education from other spaces. 

‘Whilst the school is not among the most severely impacted by RAAC, I am concerned that schools in this category that at present are able to remain open will be left behind in capital works and in receiving the associated DfE funding and support for these works. 

‘Every school impacted by RAAC needs to be remedied as quickly as possible.’ 

RAAC is a lighter, cheaper and less durable alternative to concrete that was used between the 1950s and 1990s in flat roofing, floors and walls. 

According to the Health and Safety Executive, the material is now beyond its lifespan and is vulnerable to collapse with little notice.

The Schools Minister has said that hundreds more schools could be impacted as the government awaits the results of building surveys. 

For more articles about our local schools, read about the challenges faced by female Muslim students pursuing careers after education. 

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