Devon County Council has confirmed that no schools in Devon will have to close due to reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

Education Minister Nick Gibb announced yesterday (August 31) that schools across the UK would need to close if there were traces of RAAC in the buildings, which could cause them to collapse.

The material was used in the 1950s and 1960s and is prone to collapse. It is also found in hospitals and courts.

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: "We have worked with the Department for Education on this process and don’t believe that any schools for which we are responsible have been affected, nor have received any feedback from other responsible bodies regarding their buildings."

Mr Gibb told GB News: “We are putting large amounts of capital into the school estate to improve the condition and, by the way, RAAC applies only in the period (between) the 1950s and the 1990s, so schools built or extended before that period or afterwards – which is about half the school estate – will not even need to consider whether they have RAAC.

“The issue is any extensions or schools built in that period, and that’s where we’ve been focusing our surveys and evidence-gathering since 2022, so we know where RAAC is in the school estate.

“It’s in 156 schools. There may be more after that as these questionnaires continue to be surveyed and we continue to do more surveying work.”

Asked if parents should worry during the wait for more survey results, Mr Gibb said: “No, they shouldn’t worry. Parents will be informed by the school. We were speaking to schools yesterday, some more today, and then schools are telling parents what action they are taking.”

He added: “We now are taking a cautious approach. It is a very cautious approach based on a number of cases that emerged over the summer.

“We are now saying that we think those buildings or rooms should be taken out of use. That’s a very cautious approach, so parents can be confident that if they’ve not been contacted by their school it is safe to send children back into school.”