THERE is “no immediate risk” to the safety of staff and pupils in Scottish schools built with a collapse-risk form of concrete, a minister has said.

Despite reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) being identified in 35 schools in Scotland, there are no plans to close buildings as has been done in England.

The English Department for Education (DfE) has closed 104 schools south of the Border after the material – linked with the collapsed of a school in Kent in 2018 – was identified in school buildings.

During an interview on the BBC’s Sunday Show, Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said the presence of the materials in Scotland posed “no immediate risk” to the safety of staff and pupils.

“At the moment, there is no immediate risk to people using these buildings and that is why we continue to support our local authority partners, NHS boards and others, that have Raac in their buildings to ensure that remains the case, and if there are issues to be resolved, that mitigations are taken to ensure people’s safety,” he said.

The concrete was used from the 1950s until the mid-1990s, with the Institute of Structural Engineers saying it will only need to be replaced if it is considered to be in poor condition and at high-risk of collapse.

READ MORE: No plans to close Scottish schools 'at this stage' due to crumbly concrete

Gray added: “There is no reason to believe that the safety concern has changed in the previous weeks.

“Obviously there are checks ongoing, including intrusive checks, because obviously some of this material is going to be deep into the structure of buildings. Some of that takes time to carry out.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf said on Saturday that Scottish ministers have no plans to close affected schools “at this stage”.

Local authorities will be expected to prioritise remedial work where the concrete is found in public buildings, including room or building closures and the use of temporary modular provision for school pupils.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has pledged to “spend what it takes” to make schools safe – but the issue has thrust into the spotlight the Tories’ record on investment over their 13 years in power.

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “I can think of no more a defining image of 13 years of Tory Government: children being sat in classrooms under metal props to prevent ceilings from falling on their heads.”