Over the past few weeks, the possible presence of RAAC concrete in secondary and primary schools across the country has caused concern.

We know of almost 150 schools so far that are affected, leaving school leaders confused, teachers uncertain, parents having to find unexpected childcare at short notice.

Though none of the schools affected are currently in Barnsley, and I sincerely hope this remains the case, there are still more schools built using the concrete to be revealed.

The Government was made aware of the need to rebuild around 400 schools in 2020, as a former Private Secretary to the Department for Education has revealed.

However, despite this, the Prime Minister has continued to only grant funding for 50 schools a year, leaving many children and school staff working and learning in potentially unsafe environments.

The Government cut the Labour Government’s 2003 Building Schools for the Future (BSF) funding programme when they came to power in 2010, which led to the cancellation of over 700 school projects, many of which are at risk of collapse due to RAAC today.

They also failed to continue the Primary Capital Programme aimed at restoring and rebuilding primary schools across the country.

The former Education Secretary, Michael Gove MP, commented that the scrapping of the BSF scheme was “crass and insensitive”, whilst the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that the average spending on schools is 26 per cent lower in real terms than in the mid-2000s under Labour.