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Three schools in Tower Hamlets partially closed for RAAC concrete investigations

The unnamed schools remain open while affected areas are cordoned off for further investigations and remedial works.

A trio of schools in Tower Hamlets have been forced to take “extraordinary measures” to keep children and staff safe because some of the buildings have been affected by the concrete crisis.

In a critical letter addressed to Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, Cllr Sirajul Islam of Bethnal Green East said there are three schools in the borough which have been affected by the scandal.

The trio of schools haven’t yet been publicly named however the council has said online that they are able to remain open because the affected areas are due to be cordoned off while further investigations and remedial works take place.

Cllr Islam said: “There are three schools within the borough of Tower Hamlets that are affected by this scandal, that have had to take extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of their students.

“With just days to go before the start of the new term, parents have got enough to worry about without having to find out if their child’s school is safe.”

He went on to say: “It is staggering that ministers have waited until now to act on this issue, and it is appalling that thousands of children across the country face chaos and disruption to their education because they cannot start at their own school next week.”

Cllr Islam blasted the government for its “secrecy” around the shock announcement, which has sparked a wave of safety fears across the country, and said it has caused “huge concerns” for residents in the borough.

The LDRS understands that the headteachers of the three affected schools are currently informing parents on the issue and what the next steps are.

The Department for Education (DfE) has been urged to “come clean” with the list of more than 100 schools that have been forced to close and make last-minute arrangements for pupils ahead of the new school year.

Schools with buildings which have been found to contain reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) have been instructed to close impacted sites immediately until safety measures have been put in place to ensure buildings won’t collapse.

RAAC has been described as a “lightweight form of concrete” and is much weaker than traditional concrete. It was used during the building of nurseries, schools and colleges from the 1950s until the mid-1990s, while hospitals and other public buildings have also been found to contain the material.

Tower Hamlets Council has been contacted for further comment.

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