The Bolton schools affected by Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) are no longer exempt from an inspection by Ofsted.

The watchdog removed the schools from its schedule for the winter term after the issues hit the headlines at the start of the academic year.

In Bolton, schools affected by RAAC include five on a list belonging to the Department for Education (DfE) – Canon Slade, St Andrew's CE Primary School, St Bernard's RC Primary School, St Stephen and All Martyrs CE Primary School and St William of York RC Primary School – as well as Thornleigh Salesian College which was mentioned in the House of Commons last week.

However, the schools are no longer exempt from an inspection after the watchdog reintroduced the schools to its schedule for the spring term. They are allowed to ask for a deferment unless the inspection is as a result of "concerns".

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An Ofsted spokesperson said: "This spring term, schools that have confirmed RAAC in some of their buildings will be eligible for an inspection, however this will be sufficient grounds to defer the inspection, should the school wish to.

"We know the situation with RAAC is still causing challenges for staff, pupils, parents and guardians. For schools that do not have confirmed RAAC but are still be impacted by RAAC, for example where a school is hosting pupils from schools that have confirmed RAAC, we will carefully consider any requests for a deferral of an inspection. If we have any concerns, we retain the right to inspect any setting, including those affected by RAAC."

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A DfE spokesperson said: "The safety of staff and pupils is paramount and we are working at pace with schools to identify RAAC and support them to minimise disruption.

“We have committed to fund the removal of RAAC from our schools either through grants, or through our School Rebuilding Programme and we will inform schools as soon as possible once our assessments have concluded.”

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.