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With rising concerns over reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) being unfit for purpose following new evidence, schools in England are being forced to immediately shut buildings made with, or containing RAAC, until safety measures are put in place, due to its susceptibility to collapse.

The DfE had identified 572 schools where RAAC concrete might be present and 65 had been confirmed, with 24 requiring immediate action.

With the National Audit Office (NAO) recently assessing the risk of injury or death from a school building as “very likely and critical,” it is essential that schools close until the RAAC concrete is removed.

Sean Keyes, Managing Director, Sutcliffe states: 

“A number of studies have been conducted across the country on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete – or RAAC – and now the government has decided to introduce a new directive in the last 24 hours to immediately close schools and other buildings which are based in areas which include RAAC, meaning they cannot open for the new term.  

This is unacceptable, as people have been aware of this issue for a number of years. RAAC is a lightweight, aerated, reinforced form of concrete – and while it is not like asbestos which poses a range of health risks – it may not be structurally strong enough, and in the slim chance that a RAAC roof collapses, then not only will it be unacceptable, but the results could be severe. 

Having written multiple reports and conducted a range of surveys across the healthcare and education sector, Sutcliffe are industry experts in RAAC as recognised by the Institution of Structural Engineers.”

For more information on RAAC surveys call Sutcliffe on 0151 227 3155 or email

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