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Schools can get £4k for RAAC surveys – but there’s a catch

Schools can claim back up to £4,000 for RAAC surveys, but only if they were completed during a two-month period last year.

The Department for Education has announced responsible bodies, usually councils and academy trusts, will be able to claw back the cash for checks to identify the dangerous concrete carried out between August 30 and November 1 2023.

It is not clear why a cut-off point of November 1 has been applied. The DfE was approached for clarification.

Guidance published this afternoon also said leaders will only be eligible for the money if the DfE had not already funded or carried out a RAAC survey at the site.

Under the qualifying criteria, the inspections must have had “the primary purpose of identifying RAAC”.

They need to have been conducted by an “appropriately qualified building surveyor or structural engineer”, with the results reported “via the RAAC questionnaire” shortly afterwards, it added.

Leaders will be able to receive funding for up to £4,000, including VAT, per setting.

The DfE escalated its RAAC policy at the end of August by ordering 104 schools to partially of fully close days before the start of the new academic year.

It came in the wake of three cases of the concrete collapsing “without warning”, despite being considered non-critical.  

Guidance updated at the beginning of September stated the government would fund surveys organised by responsible bodies, “unless unforeseen issues are identified”.

According to the government’s latest figures, which were released last month, there have been 231 confirmed cases in all.  

To file a claim, responsible bodies should complete a RAAC survey claim form and email their establishment’s name, its “RAAC status” and invoice to [email protected] by February 1.

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