Update on RAAC in diocesan church and school buildings

First published 20th September 2023

The risk presented by Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in schools across the country has recently been highlighted in the news. RAAC was used in construction or modification of some buildings between the 1950s and the mid-1990s. While it was more often used in public and municipal building work, we are also bringing this matter to the attention of our church communities, in case they have any buildings which fit the criteria of potentially containing RAAC.

The Department for Education has produced a guidance note that includes advice on making an initial assessment about whether RAAC may be present in a building. In cases where there is concern in relation to RAAC in a specific church building please contact the diocesan team at: property@bristoldiocese.org or request advice from the respective church architect.

Voluntary controlled schools concerned about RAAC are advised to contact their relevant local authorities. Diocesan Board of Finance has liaised with the five voluntary aided schools over the recent months to ensure that checks are undertaken. In a number of cases this was not required due to the age and build profiles of the buildings.

A spokesperson for the Church of England said: “The safety of children and staff in schools is of the paramount importance. We are aware of the issue facing some schools that were constructed with a certain type of concrete. The Church of England Education Office is in contact with Government ministers and the Department for Education on this matter and is ensuring dioceses are aware of the situation where it affects their schools. We are in close communication with them about any needed mitigations or contingency measures."


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