Life still not back to normal at a Warwick school hit by the crumbling concrete crisis - The Leamington Observer

Life still not back to normal at a Warwick school hit by the crumbling concrete crisis

SCHOOL life is still not back to normal at a secondary school in Warwick almost a year on from being hit by the crumbling concrete crisis.

In fact Aylesford School faces yet more setbacks.

Headteacher Tim Hodgson announced this week that the school’s 1,200 pupils would not be able to return to the main school building as planned for the start of the new school year in September.

They will instead have to continue working from temporary classrooms as work to remove asbestos has been delayed.

Aylesford School was put on the Department for Education’s complex list after it was identified last summer as among 100 schools to potentially have reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in some of its buildings.

The material, widely used from the 1950s through to the 1990s is now “life expired” and could collapse with “little or no notice”.

More than 30 classrooms were put out of use at Aylesford School and the start of the 2023 school year was delayed.

Eighteen temporary classrooms were installed on the netball courts last winter and will now continue to be used in September.

Building contractors are unable to officially identify RAAC has been used at Aylesford School until asbestos has been removed and work to do this is behind schedule.

Mr Hodgson explained: “While we had initially hoped to return to our main school building in September 2024, following a full assessment by the Department for Education and our building and design contractors, this timeframe will no longer be possible due to the complexities of the works which are needed.

“We are currently negotiating the final contract with our principal contractor. Once this has been agreed by both the school and the DfE we will be able share an updated timeline for the completion of the building work.

“In the meantime, we are working tirelessly to ensure we are upholding the high standards of education our students and community deserve and have been assured the works will be carried out as quickly, safely and effectively as possible.

“While we look forward to having our building back next year, in the meantime we are pleased to have excellent temporary accommodation in place, which helps to minimise disruption as much as possible. We encourage families to come and see it for themselves so they can feel reassured that high-quality temporary accommodation is in use, enabling children to learn effectively.

“We cannot thank our families, students and staff enough for their continued understanding, patience and support and are grateful to our students for their maturity and adaptability throughout this process, and for settling so well into our temporary accommodation.”

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