News

Waltham Forest schools to open as usual, unaffected by weak concrete concerns

Schools in the borough are unaffected by the government’s order that schools built with weak concrete must shut for repairs, reports Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter

Waltham Forest Council said schools in the borough were unaffected by a government order for schools built with weak concrete to shut. Credit: LDRS

Waltham Forest Council has confirmed that all schools in the borough will open next week, following concerns about buildings made with concrete that may collapse.

Yesterday (31st August), the Department for Education announced that more than 100 schools, colleges and nurseries in England will need to close immediately due to crumbling concrete.

A council spokesperson has now confirmed that none of the borough’s schools will be affected.

However, it is unclear whether any local schools are made with RAAC that has been made safe already.

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) is weaker than traditional concrete and has been known to collapse with little to no warning.

Schools built from RAAC have been told they must stay closed until they introduce new safety measures such as ceilings propped up by scaffolding.


This story is published by Waltham Forest Echo, Waltham Forest's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.


A DfE spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that all affected schools have been informed but it does not plan to release a list to the media.

In a statement yesterday, the department said: “Recent cases have now changed our assessment of the risk that RAAC poses to building safety. 

“We are taking immediate steps to ensure the safety of staff and pupils in line with this.”

The National Education Union’s joint branch and district secretary for Waltham Forest, Paul Phillips, also said he is unaware of any affected school buildings in the borough.

He added: “At the moment the fact that we haven’t heard anything is a bit more of a relief than anything else.

“But I wouldn’t be surprised if the council was being kept in the dark by the DfE itself.”

In April, Waltham Forest Council approved a budget of at least £3.8 million to replace RAAC in parts of Leyton Leisure Centre’s roof.

If you have a story to share, contact [email protected]


No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

In celebration of Indie News Week, Public Interest News Foundation's Indie News Fund will match fund all donations, including new annual supporter subscriptions for the month of June.

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month.  £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or annually 

More Information about donations