A crumbling school or crumbling government? Maybe both? – Eve H

Welcome back everyone and welcome to all the new pupils joining this year, I hope you all had a great summer, I know the government didn’t…

Over the summer holidays, a school building collapsed, prompting surveyors to do checks on other school buildings around the country and disaster struck. Over 100 schools in the UK are at severe risk of collapse, and the worst part? The government already knew. Go back to 2018, a Primary school in Kent lost their ceiling to this crumbling RAAC concrete (created as a cheap source to build with as it is mostly air, also nicknamed aero concrete) after this incident the Kent council wrote to the government and local authorities suspecting that the concrete was no longer safe and has began to deteriorate. The council did not hear back. Bear in mind this was being used for decades between the 1950s-1990s. If you have been to an old state nursery, primary school or secondary school, chances are it was built with RAAC. Here’s where controversy hits. After the government was made aware about this ‘ticking time bomb’ they seemingly did nothing, potentially endangering the lives of thousands of children and staff members. Then this summer the school collapses the government go into a panic and do everything they can to fix this issue (an attempt to save their behind if you ask me), schools close down, online lessons begin for many children and as of today the situation is looking costly and lengthy to fix.

Here’s my two cents on the matter. I feel as though the government aren’t being held to account enough for this because if the headlines, instead of being ‘online learning returns, schools collapse’, they could have easily been ‘Children die due to government negligence’ and that is what this is, government negligence. If the estates team found out in 2018 (I was in year 7 that year, for context on how long it’s been since) that the clocktower had begun to crumble and said or did nothing and actually ignored people who voiced concerns, and then it collapsed, there would be hell to pay regardless of if we were in the building at the time or not because it endangered the lives of hundreds of people. There have been years to fix this incredibly severe problem, we just had two months off for summer, they couldn’t do it then? Or the year before? Or in LOCKDOWN? In my opinion this should be an outrageous discovery that required swift action and an immediate apology to those concerned, but instead they left it for the problem to become worse, in an attempt to save money and just hope catastrophe doesnt happen. And they got lucky, but who knows if they will next time. Have the sewer systems been patched with duct tape and left to spill? Who knows anymore, I sure don’t.

-Eve H

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