Schools in East Ayrshire are unaffected by potentially dangerous concrete supports which caused 100 English schools to close, it has been confirmed.

Three other buildings have been identified as using RAAC material – which hit the headlines when a number of English schools announced they would not be welcoming pupils back after the holidays due to the potential for the material to deteriorate.

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SNP Councillor Graham Barton raised the issue at Cabinet on Wednesday. He said: “These panels were used generally between the 1950s and '80s and were mainly used in the flat roof construction.

“The panels had a life expectancy of around 30 years and could become weak over time.

“After site visits, three properties have been identified to contain RAAQ panels and they were found at a building in Grassyards cemetery, a separate plant room at Crosshouse Education Community Centre and in a separate plant room at the Hurlford Community Centre.”

All three have been assessed as having ‘no immediate concern’ by structural engineers.

Councillor Barton said: “I do think it’s imperative that we keep updating all affected parties on a regular basis especially at the Hurlford Community Association.

“It is at least reassuring that none of our school buildings are affected by RAAC panels as the council has invested heavily in updating the school estate and many of the older 1950s and '80s buildings types have been demolished and replaced.

“Since 2012 the SNP Administration has spent over £300 million upgrading their education estate with 26 new, refurbished or extended schools.

Andrew Kennedy, head of East Ayrshire facilities, added: “The panels have been something that that we’ve been aware of and obviously from a professional industry point of view have been aware of for a number of years.

He said that monitoring and inspection arrangements had been put in place across the industry and with the school estate.

“I think we’re in a fairly good position around the panels and obviously I’ve not identified anything in any of our schools.

“As Councillor Barton has said, this is mainly because of the level of investment that we’ve been able to put across our estate over there the last
couple of decades.

“I would like to reassure people in terms of East Ayrshire’s approach.”

Labour Councillor Maureen McKay added: “I know the work that has been ongoing for several years members and I’m sure will remember that a considerable section of Onthank Primary School was removed because of concerns with some of the ceiling concrete joists.

“I know at that particular time that that was instigated a check on all buildings of similar construction across East Ayrshire, so I have to say I was reassured that our people had always been on on top of this.”