Schools: Construction

Department for Education written question – answered at on 28 February 2024.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made an estimate of the number of (a) elements of school estates currently in use and (b) open schools containing at least one such element which were constructed using the block and beam method of concrete construction in (i) each local authority area and (ii) England.

Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has had reason to revise her (a) assessment of the safety of the block and beam method, (b) assessment of the safe operating life of the block and beam method and (c) advice to schools where the block and beam method was used as part of the construction method for any part of the building since 25 October 2022.

Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether guidance is available to schools on the management of (a) buildings and (b) building elements made from block and beam concrete.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Minister of State (Education)

Academy trusts, local authorities, and voluntary-aided school bodies are responsible for collecting and recording information about their buildings and ensuring they are safe, well-maintained and comply with relevant regulations. The department supports schools and colleges on how this should be done in the Good Estate Management for Schools guidance, which is available on GOV.UK.

Departmental officials have regular discussions with relevant professional bodies and leading material specialists to ensure that they are aware of any emerging evidence regarding the safety of construction materials used in the education estate. The department does not hold a central register of construction types used in the education estate.

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