Updated: Term start delayed again for Warwick school children hit by the crumbling concrete crisis - The Leamington Observer

Updated: Term start delayed again for Warwick school children hit by the crumbling concrete crisis

Leamington Editorial 11th Sep, 2023 Updated: 20th Sep, 2023   0

MANY PUPILS at the two schools in Warwick hit by the crumbling concrete crisis have had their start of term delayed again.

Myton School and Aylesford School were both announced by the government as among the over 100 schools across the country to be affected by the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in some of their buildings.

The headteachers from both schools were forced to write to parents the weekend before the start of term to inform them they were unable to fully open to all pupils amid safety concerns about the concrete used in some areas of their schools.

Both schools welcomed Year 7 and Year 12 pupils on to site with hopes the remaining year groups could return this week.

However headteacher of Aylesford School Tim Hodgson was forced to write to parents for a second time over the weekend to inform them that plans to fully reopen the school to all its 1,200 pupils would have to be put on hold.

But Mr Hodgson explained in his latest letter that not only did the school potentially have RAAC issues that needed urgent attention but that asbestos had also been found.

He said that Year 7 and 12 would continue to come into school but all other pupils would remain home and complete their school work online.

Mr Hodgson continued: “This is not a decision that we take lightly or indeed one that we can do anything to avoid. The decision is one that is necessary to manage both potential risk and ensure that all members of our school community remain safe.

“Please be assured that the areas of our site that have remained open are safe and free of any issues.”

Mr Hodgson added that the school would keep parents updated.

Meanwhile at Myton School, headteacher Andy Perry wrote to the parents of his 1,600 pupils to say not all year groups could return this week as planned.

Mr Perry wrote that following communication with the DfE the whole lower school block, including 29 classrooms and other facilities like the canteen and lower school hall, would have to be closed.

He said this amounted to a third of the school’s teaching space being lost and so in the short term only five out of the seven year groups would be able to be on site at a time, with the remaining two learning online.

In the medium term, he explained, temporary classrooms would be constructed and in the long-term they were hopeful a new building would be built.

RAAC was widely used from the 1950s through to the 1990s but has now “life expired”. There have been several sudden collapses of RAAC roof panels that appeared to be in good condition recently, escalating safety concerns that have been rumbling on for years.

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