“Not the ‘good f***ing job’ we expected” – Manchester parents and teachers react to the ongoing RAAC issues

The national issue of aerated concrete or “RAAC” has annoyed parents and teachers by disrupting pupils’ return to school – with one parent describing the situation as “absolutely dreadful”.

Seven schools in Greater Manchester have been affected by the defective building material, with 146 nationwide.

While these schools await inspection they have had to choose one of four options on how to teach: learning at a nearby site, learning online, hybrid learning, or delaying the start to the term.

Only one school in Greater Manchester – St Williams of York Catholic Primary School in Bolton – has opted to delay the start of the term. The other six have chosen to continue learning nearby.

The location change has annoyed parents like Linda McCarthy, whose child is in Year 6 at Sale Grammar School.

Classes have been shifted for her child to a nearby community centre in Sale, indefinitely.

Linda says: “I think this is absolutely dreadful and extremely mismanaged by the government.

“I thought that the first week of school teaching would be affected by the heat wave set to make this the hottest week in the UK. However, this has just trumped anything I could think of.”

Another school affected by the concrete issue in Altrincham. Photo credits: Anthony O'Neil @wikimediacommons
Altrincham College, another school affected by the concrete issue. Photo credit: Anthony O’Neil @wikimediacommons

Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, has received backlash for the claims she made in an ITV interview.

In the interview she said: “School building’s responsibility is with local authorities and multi-academy trusts” – adding: “It is not the job of the Department of Education.”

She was also heard asking for praise after the interview. She said: “Does anyone ever say, you know what, you have done a good f***ing job because everyone else has sat on their arse and done nothing.”

An All Saints C of E teacher, who asked not to be named, took offence at this, telling MM: “This is not the ‘good f***ing job’ we expected.

“It’s the government that knew about this problem before the general public but they didn’t do anything about it. Now they want to pin the blame elsewhere.

“It is the government’s responsibility to look after the school and ensure that no child is endangered.”

The teacher said, while classes were continuing in the community centre, he believes that the change in location is not ideal for the students.

He is also annoyed that there have been no updates, about when normal school will return.

RAAC has now been discovered in the Houses of Parliament and other public buildings across the UK.

A Sale Grammar School spokesperson said: “Sale Grammar School can confirm that planned building work started in July to replace the roof in the area of the school building which had reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

“As this was planned works, mitigations were already in place to make sure that the school can continue to safely remain open and that we can continue to offer our full curriculum during this period of planned works at our school site.

“We continue to prioritise the health and safety of all our school community and have enjoyed welcoming everyone back from their summer break.”

All Saints C of E was also approached for comment.

Feature image: Sale Grammar School

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