Ask me anything

Ask an education expert anything about the school concrete crisis - from homeschooling to closure details

Schools Week editor John Dickens is on hand to answer your questions as parents grapple to understand how crumbling concrete could disrupt their children’s education

Wednesday 06 September 2023 12:34 BST
A taped off section inside Parks Primary School in Leicester (Jacob King/PA
A taped off section inside Parks Primary School in Leicester (Jacob King/PA (PA Wire)

Parents across the country are still attempting to piece together all the information after safety fears forced more than 100 schools to close.

Many pupils have been resuming their studies online or in temporary facilities following fears over a type of concrete, described as “80 per cent air” and “like an Aero Bar”.

Known as reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC), the potentially dangerous material was used to construct schools, colleges, and other buildings between the Fifties and mid-Seventies in the UK, but has since been found to be at risk of collapse.

Calls have been made for the Department for Education (DfE) to release the full list of schools affected - and the lack of comprehensive information has understandably left confused parents with many questions about what to do next.

How will I know if my child’s school is closed? Why is RAAC on the radar now? Can I get support or help with homeschooling? And can I take my child out of an affected school altogether?

So how likely is it that your child’s education will be impacted by the chaos outlined above? And what should you do if it is? Schools Week editor John Dickens is ready to answer all your questions on this for The Independent on Tuesday evening (5 September).

Our expert John Dickens will be on hand from 4-5pm BST, on Tuesday 5 September to answer all your questions in an ‘Ask Me Anything’ event. He will be answering live in the comments section below.

Register to submit your question in the comments box under this article. If you’re not already a member, click “sign up” in the comments section to leave your question. For a full guide on how to comment click here.

Join us live on this page from 4pm as John tackles as many of your schooling queries as he can within an hour.

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