Amidst controversy over Keegan’s outburst post-interview with ITV, the issue of weak concrete used in building schools has become a political hot potato. Parents and teachers have expressed their anguish over the shutting down of hundreds of old crumbling structures, including schools.
Updated Sep 5, 2023 | 04:08 PM IST
With a string of tough questions asked by reporter Daniel Hewitt, Keegan went ballistic
Facing flak from his own Prime Minister
, Gillian Keegan
, Britain’s Education Secretary came out and apologised for using explicit language and abusing children on camera. Keegan
was caught on camera complaining about not being appreciated for doing a “****ing good job” in dealing with potentially hundreds of unsafe school buildings.
“I’m sorry for my off-the-cuff remark and choice of language earlier. I know parents are concerned. I’ve been working non-stop to resolve this issue as quickly as possible,” she wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Amidst controversy over Keegan’s outburst post-interview with ITV
, the issue of weak concrete used in building schools has become a political hot potato. Parents and teachers have expressed their anguish over the shutting down of hundreds of old crumbling structures, including schools.
According to reports, days before the beginning of a new session for students in the UK, there were complaints that authorities found ‘temporary’ solutions to the issue. In several schools, steel girders were used as room supports, reports claimed. A report by news agency Reuters highlighted that the UK government was awaiting response from over 1,500 schools that were built using Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete ( RAAC
) during the 1960s–80s. RAAC is a light-weight form of concrete used in building these structures.
RAAC-built school buildings are now considered weak and not safe. With a string of tough questions asked by reporter Daniel Hewitt
, Keegan went ballistic and said, “Does anyone ever say: You know what, you’ve done a ******* good job, because everyone else has sat on their **** and done nothing?’ No signs of that, no?”
While calling the language used by Secretary Keegan “not acceptable,” a spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
said that the PM was satisfied with her apology. Meanwhile, the Opposition Labour Party
criticised the Conservatives and said underinvestment in public services is evident with schools shutting down. Labour leader Keir Starmer
lambasted the Government for not handling the school closure crisis properly and said that it was “descending into farce”, reported news agency Reuters.
Reaffirming his spokesperson’s stand that schools affected would be “in the hundreds, not the thousands”. According to PM Sunak
, approximately 22,000 schools in England would not be impacted in 95 per cent of cases, and many times the problems would only affect a single classroom.
(With inputs from Reuters)