Schools minister Nick Gibb is on the media round this morning, discussing the issue of unsafe concrete in school buildings.
Talking to Kay Burley, he insisted the government had been “proactive” on the matter, adding: “Our priority is the safety of children.”
Mr Gibb said the government had been invested in resolving the issue since 2018, after the collapse of RAAC in a school in Kent.
“Our advice at the time was, if you monitor it and are aware of it, then that is safe.
“Over time, more and more evidence emerged about RAAC.”
The minister was asked about allegations Rishi Sunak had slashed the school rebuilding fund – from 100 schools a year to 50 – in 2021.
This was despite recommendations that up to 400 schools needed rebuilding annually.
Mr Gibb said: “I checked with officials yesterday after that interview and that’s simply not true.
“We’ve been building and refurbishing 50 schools a year from the very beginning when we came into office.”
Mr Gibb said that 50 years a school is “what the system can take”.
He added that one of Mr Sunak’s first acts as chancellor was the School Rebuilding Programme, which aimed to refurbish 500 schools.