At the end of August 2023, the Department for Education (DfE) issued guidance on actions schools should take to find out whether their estate included the use of RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete), and what they should do if its presence was confirmed.
Following this advice, more than 100 schools were advised to close buildings due to the risk of structural failure, creating safety risks for staff and children.
Nearly three months later, the number of cases of RAAC in schools has reached over 200. As schools continue to ensure pupil’s education isn’t affected; rental solutions have offered a lifeline to schools caught in this difficult situation.
Providing solutions at speed
After ensuring the safety of those who use the affected space, the priority for schools has been to ensure that students’ education isn’t impacted by the disruption. However, just last month, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) reported that many schools were “still waiting” for temporary classrooms and buildings to be put in place.
In response to this need for high-quality environments at speed, Premier Modular has focused on providing an extremely rapid response for a significant number of classrooms, which has been followed by incredibly rapid delivery and installation time. This has helped minimise the effects of the RAAC crisis to Premier’s customers as well as any disruption that may occur from the installation of temporary classrooms; ensuring students receive the same high-quality education that they’re used to. Through extensive and flexible manufacturing facilities and stock units, Premier Modular has been able to respond rapidly, no matter the school’s requirements.
Fears over costs during the RAAC crisis was highlighted by The Confederation of School Trusts, which has since led to confirmation that any support for mitigation works will be funded by the DfE.
However, some schools have still found it challenging to procure through different frameworks, or have been unaware of procurement and other flexible finance options.
To ensure that financing doesn’t become an issue for schools and that students continue to learn in high-quality environments, Premier Modular offers support through procurement frameworks, as well as directly through flexible financing models that meet individual funding requirements.
“We’ve been working closing with a number of schools who’ve been affected by the RAAC crisis,” comments Mark Rooney, Rental Divisional Director at Premier Modular. “As such an important safety issue, it’s key that schools receive the support they need through the entire process, from picking up the phone to providing an appropriate design and installation. At Premier Modular, our expertise has meant that we’ve currently provided large numbers of classrooms to schools in need, and we have the flexibility and capacity to act as a reliable shoulder to lean on, with high-quality solutions delivered in a matter of weeks.”