Structural Dangers Loom in Post-War Schools

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The Department for Education is commissioning a £4.8 million research project into the structural dangers of post-war buildings, two years after it was proposed.

Many of these schools, built quickly after the Second World War, were made with cheap materials such as lightweight cement and hollow concrete blocks embedded in asbestos. Could this be the next RAAC scandal?

In Schools Week’s recent article on the topic, Tim Warneford explains how woodwool (shredded timber bound in a cement paste) and stramit (strawboard insulation made from fused wheat or rice straw) were used extensively in 1960s, and 1970s roof construction. They are currently the two biggest building safety issues that keep him awake at night.

These materials cause no problems as long as they’re kept dry. But with the DfE estimating that nearly half of schools (10,710) are at risk of flooding, this is surely another ticking timebomb. 

Click here to read the article in full.

If your school is struggling with any of the issues raised in the article, please contact Tim for help and advice at