Schools' concrete woes to drag on after election

Concrete taking from the school for testing
Weak concrete was found in four schools in North Tyneside [BBC]

Four schools suffering from structural issues caused by weak concrete will not receive extra funding until after the general election.

The schools in North Tyneside have suffered months-long disruption after brittle concrete was discovered in their buildings.

North Tyneside Council said it was continuing "conversations" with the Department for Education (DfE) about possible solutions.

The DfE has been approached for comment.

The problem was first discovered when part of a ceiling collapsed at Fordley Primary School, Annitsford, in December last year.

The collapse was linked to a construction method used in the 1960s. It is not related to Raac.

Structural inspections were carried out at other schools, which led to the partial closure of Hazlewood Primary, Fordley Primary, Grasmere Academy and Churchill Community College.

Despite a period of remote learning for some, all children in the affected schools have returned to face-to-face education, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

However, many are being taught in alternative settings either on or off site.

There have been calls from parents, trade unions, councillors and MPs for the DfE to find additional cash to fund short and long-term solutions.

Jon Ritchie, director of resources at North Tyneside Council, said: "Our conversations with the Department for Education are continuing and, while we don’t expect a decision ahead of the General Election, we remain committed to exploring solutions for the impacted schools."

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