‘Nightmare’ for mother of four to three affected by Raac schools crisis

A mother of four said it has been a “nightmare” as the crisis has disrupted the schools three of her children attend.

Safety concerns about reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) have caused more than 100 schools to be partially or fully closed across the UK.

Sally Walsh, a 44-year-old actress, from Buckhurst Hill, Essex, said she faced a “terrible situation” as her 12-year-old, attends Roding Valley High School, and two other children, nine and six, attend Buckhurst Hill Primary School. will face study breaks.

Her two-year-old also starts preschool this week, adding to the challenges she faces.



The community really pulls together, we are immediately offered help to get my kids to school. But I still find it annoying because they are my children, I don't want someone else to take them to school

Parent Sally Walsh

Mrs Walsh's 12-year-old was told not to go to Roding Valley School this week – she said half the school is “rubbish” and “doesn't know” what's going on.

She said her nine-year-old was “hurt” to learn his class, along with three others, would have to attend a different school, White Bridge Primary School, 0.8 miles away from Buckhurst Hill Primary.

Mrs Walsh added that her six-year-old will stay at Buckhurst Hill Primary but will be taught in either a “staff room, library or schoolroom”.

She told the PA news agency: “It's a nightmare, I have three children in three different schools and the little one starts kindergarten this week.

“The community is really pulling together, we are immediately offered help to get my kids to school.

“But I still find it annoying because they are my children, I don't want someone else to take them to school.”

He added: “My son who goes to a different school was devastated to find out last night.

“You know he doesn't even know the school, it's completely foreign to him and it's hard when we can't put a time frame.



Why isn't this being turned around faster… right now it needs to be addressed more urgently than it seems

Parent Sally Walsh

“I can't say, ‘For so many weeks you have to do it and then it will be fine.'

Ms Walsh expressed “sympathy” for Buckhurst Hill Primary.

“The school has been incredible, my main sympathy goes to the school and the head teacher, I feel so sorry for them,” he said.

“They (the teachers) said themselves that this is the absolute last resort, this is the last thing they wanted to do.

“There is nowhere else to put these children, their hands are tied, so I have nothing but admiration and gratitude for the school in terms of how they are dealing with a horrible situation.

“I just hope they get the support they deserve or need and I'm not sure they do, to be honest.”

He added that Education Secretary Gillian Keegan should treat the Raat crisis as an “emergency”.

Ms Walsh said: “This needs to be treated as an emergency … there is extreme disruption.

“I've got three kids at different schools and they're talking about a six-week time frame to get new portable classrooms.

“Why isn't this being turned around faster … right now it needs to be addressed more urgently than it seems, and more financial support for schools.”