Another school in the North East has been confirmed to contain RAAC concrete in the government's latest release - bringing the total number of schools affected by the crisis in the region to 13.

Golden Flatts Primary School in Hartlepool has been included in the government's latest release of schools found to contain RAAC failure-prone concrete today (October 19).

The Hartlepool school, located on Seaton Lane, is the first school that watchdogs have newly identified to contain the crumble-prone concrete in the North East since August 30, just before more than 100 schools were told to partially or fully close the buildings just days before the new term began.

Read more: RAAC Timeline: How did the crisis reach breaking point?

RAAC concrete was used in construction between the 1950s and mid-1990s and is prone to collapse. In 2018, the roof of a Kent primary school collapsed and RAAC was later found to be to blame.

Following the report, a statement from Hartlepool Borough Council confirmed the community school will not be closed as RAAC is located in two "small areas" of the building.

Sue Sharpe, Executive Headteacher of Golden Flatts Primary School, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff is paramount, and we have worked closely with Hartlepool Borough Council to carry out a comprehensive survey of the fabric of the school.

“This survey has confirmed that there is no Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in the vast majority of our school building and, as a result, the school remains open and teaching is taking place as usual.

“RAAC has been found in only two small areas within the school.  These areas are not within any classrooms and one is in a part of the building inaccessible to children.

“In order to ensure safety and to avoid one of the affected areas, we have had to alter the way we access the school’s dining hall. This has caused some minor disruption and a change in our school routine, but it is something we have been able to work around.

“Moving forward, we are working with the Council and the Department for Education to identify what mitigation measures are required temporarily and permanently to address the RAAC issue and allow us to safely access the affected areas.”

The schools which have now been affected in the North East by the crisis are as follows:

  • Golden Flatts Primary School, Hartlepool
  • Carmel College, Darlington
  • Ferryhill School, Sedgefield
  • St Anne's Catholic Primary School, Harlow Green, Gateshead
  • St Bede's Catholic School and Byron Sixth Form College, Easington
  • St Benet's Catholic Primary School, Ouston, North Durham
  • St Columba's Catholic Primary School, Wallsend, North Tyneside
  • St James' Catholic Primary School, Hebburn, Jarrow
  • St John Bosco Catholic Primary School, Town End Farm, Sunderland
  • St John Vianney Catholic Primary School, West Denton, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • St Leonard's Catholic School, Durham
  • St Teresa's Catholic Primary School, Darlington
  • St Thomas More Catholic School, Blaydon

Other areas of the UK that have also seen new schools identified to have the concrete include London, Manchester and Liverpool.

Essex is the worst hit local authority with 63 schools confirmed with Raac, according to the National Education Union (NEU).

Education unions have now criticised the delay in publishing the figures and expressed concerns about the lack of a clear timeline for when work will be completed.

Daniel Kebede, NEU general secretary, accused the Government of failing to take the crisis seriously.

He said: “Their reluctance to publish on time speaks volumes, demonstrating that there is a failure at the heart of Government to take seriously the various crises facing education.

“It should not have to fall to the NEU to chase the DfE for information they pledged to regularly provide.”

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “Thanks to the hard work of school and college leaders, 202 settings (94%) are providing full-time face-to-face education for all pupils.

“Twelve settings have hybrid arrangements in place.

Read more on the RAAC crisis:

Get more from The Northern Echo with a Premium Plus Digital Subscription for as little as £1.50 a week. Click here.

“This may involve some remote learning on some days as not all pupils can currently receive full-time face-to-face education.

“There are no education settings with confirmed Raac where all pupils are in full-time remote learning.”

“I want to reassure pupils, parents and staff that this Government is doing whatever it takes to support our schools and colleges in responding to Raac and minimise disruption to education,” Ms Keegan added.