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RAAC crisis in schools is likely to be just the “tip of the iceberg”, warns union body

Ministers must end “culture of secrecy” and act in the national interest

TUC calls for urgent capital investment to repair and rebuild the public estate

The TUC has today (Thursday) called on the government to publish a national risk register for all public buildings. 

In a statement issued this morning, the union body warns that the RAAC crisis in schools is likely to be just the “tip of the iceberg” with hospitals, libraries, community centres and other public buildings also at risk. 

The full statement from TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak reads:  

“The school buildings fiasco has been a disaster years in the making.  

“Unions have consistently warned about the danger of crumbling classrooms – but have been dismissed and ignored. 

“It shouldn’t have taken another roof collapsing for the government to act. 

“The RAAC crisis in our schools is just the tip of the iceberg. Across our public estate – including in our hospitals, libraries, community centres and courts - we have buildings at risk from RAAC, asbestos and other severe structural problems. 

“That is why today we are calling on the government to urgently publish a national risk register for all public buildings. 

“People deserve to know the buildings they work in and use are safe. 

“Where the government is unclear about the safety of buildings they must take immediate action to carry out risk assessments and make this information public. 

“We must end the culture of secrecy that has prevented good decision-making and put lives at risk. 

“The government has repeatedly blocked school leaders, teachers, support staff and their unions’ requests for information on the safety of school buildings.  

“We cannot afford for this approach to continue. 

“We need the government to commit to a programme of capital investment that repairs and rebuilds our public estate. 

“These repairs must include: 

  • Ridding our public buildings of RAAC, asbestos and other structural hazards 

  • Ensuring our public buildings are fit for purpose 

  • Future-proofing our public buildings ready for net zero 

“Ministers must act now in the national interest.” 



Editors note

- About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.  


TUC press office    
020 7467 1248   


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