Safety of School Buildings — 6 Sep 2023 at 16:52

That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, that he will be graciously pleased to give directions that there will be laid before this House by 13 September 2023 the following papers –
(a) submissions from the Department for Education to HM Treasury related to the spending reviews in 2020 and 2021; and
(b) all papers, advice, and correspondence, including submissions and electronic communications (including communications with and from Ministers and Special Advisers) within and between the Cabinet Office (including the Office of the Prime Minister), the Department for Education and HM Treasury relating to these submissions concerned with school buildings.
“Absolutely nothing is more important than the safety of children and staff. It has always been the case that where we are made aware of a building that poses an immediate risk, we have taken immediate action.”-[Official Report, 4 September 2023; Vol. 737, c. 52.]
“The limited durability of RAAC roofs and other RAAC structures has long been recognised; however recent experience (which includes two roof failures with little or no warning) suggests the problem may be more serious than previously appreciated and that many building owners are not aware that it is present in their property.”
“are now past their expected service life and it is recommended that consideration is given to their replacement.”
“a school can collapse for many reasons, not just RAAC”.
“Following years of underinvestment, the estate’s overall condition is declining and around 700,000 pupils are learning in a school that the responsible body or DfE believes needs major rebuilding or refurbishment. Most seriously, DfE recognises significant safety concerns across the estate, and has escalated these concerns to the government risk register.”
“the long-term risks it posed took too long to be properly addressed”.
“Failure to bite this bullet leads to poor value, with more money required for emergency measures or a sticking plaster approach.”
“Department officials are clear that there are no areas within schools open to pupils where there is a known immediate risk of collapse.”
“If you look at what we have been doing over the previous decade, that’s completely in line with what we have always done”.
“the nature of any warning signs of sudden failure at the bearings are not fully known…Not all defects are visible…panels which appear to be in a good condition may conceal hidden defects which could present a risk to the integrity of the panels…The corrosion of reinforcement could lead to large pieces of RAAC falling which presents a risk to occupants.”
“this…could have been prevented and it was pure luck that no one died”.
“As a chartered structural engineer in active practice from the early 1970s, I never considered using RAAC as it did not “feel’ correct for permanent structures.”
“The core case for the government would be in education. Its emphasis on academic knowledge has been salutary.”
“free school programme created productive experiments in school improvement.”
“The stress on phonics to teach reading”-
“has worked. In 2012, 58 per cent of Year 1 pupils achieved the expected reading level. By 2019, that had risen to 82 per cent.”
“had an approach that, with hindsight, was expensive and did not get to schools with the greatest need fast enough.”
“there is nothing more important than the safety of children, young people, and staff in education settings”.
“The current crisis illustrates just how costly failing to keep on top of necessary investment in buildings and infrastructure can be.”
“don’t give families the clarity they need on what this means for them or the next steps for their school”,
“what exactly will happen over the next few weeks and reassurance that schools are safe.”
“Neglecting school and college buildings endangers our children and may well contribute to this Government’s downfall.”-[Official Report, 23 May 2023; Vol. 733, c. 249.]
“visual inspections only, and do not assess the overall structural integrity of a building.”

Debate in Parliament |

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con305 (+2 tell) 0085.3%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent0 2040.0%
Lab0 154 (+2 tell)077.6%
LDem0 10071.4%
PC0 30100.0%
SDLP0 20100.0%
Total:305 172082.1%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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