Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has said Scottish ministers must "pull their heads out of the sand" over concerns around collapse-risk concrete in schools and hospitals.

Anxiety around reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) has become heightened after it emerged pupils at 104 schools in England are to be placed in temporary accommodation due to concerns about the material's presence.

The Scottish Government said it was taking the issue in public buildings north of the border "very seriously".

But Mr Cole-Hamilton claimed it was "ridiculous" that the government had not accelerated investigations over the summer school holidays.

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His comments came after UK schools minister Nick Gibb told the BBC’s Today programme that “over the summer” the government discovered a number of instances where RAAC that had been considered to be low risk “actually turned out to be unsafe”.

Moves to shut schools just before the start of the English school holidays were prompted by the collapse of a beam in one school building that had no external signs that it was a critical risk.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: "Ministers need to pull their heads out of the sand and take action.

"We now know from England that beams previously assessed as safe can still catastrophically collapse.

"Does Scotland have to have a tragedy before ministers take this seriously?

"This issue has been bubbling up for months and its ridiculous that the Scottish Government have failed to use the summer to rigorously assess the scale of the problem and get repairs underway.

"The government need to name the schools which have this concrete in place and say what measures are being taken to make them safe.

"We know that this potentially fatal concrete is above patients and students.

"It may be in other public buildings too.

"Ministers must set out how they will support cash-strapped schools, universities, hospitals and more to identify buildings at risk and cope with any necessary remedial works."

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In June, Mr Cole-Hamilton issued a call to the First Minister to set up a fund to support councils and health boards in removing the material from buildings such as schools and hospitals.

A freedom of information request had shown that RAAC was present in at least four health boards and 37 schools across Scotland.

In July, it was reported that pupils at Cramond and Trinity primary schools in Edinburgh will be taught in portable classroom units following the discovery of RAAC.

In August, Perth and Kinross Council and Moray Council announced work to remove RAAC panels from local schools.

Subsequently Scottish Liberal Democrats revealed that West Lothian and East Lothian councils had indicated to the Scottish Government that tackling the use of RAAC in their buildings could cost more than £80 million.

NHS Scotland had said that an assessment of around 250 NHS buildings was underway but that work would take six to eight months.

Information on Lothian councils identified more than £80m worth of work to cope with RAAC there.

In a question to the Scottish Government in July this year, the Mr Cole-Hamilton asked whether RAAC was present in any Scottish Government buildings.

In response, the government said it had not undertaken an inspection in the core Scottish Government estate since 2021 but added that a "specialist has been appointed to support the development of a scope to undertake building inspection surveys".

Guidance from the Institution of Structural Engineers instructs the material to be replaced only if it is deemed to be in a poor condition and is considered a high risk, otherwise it can be managed in place.