Dangerous concrete identified at schools in the North West

Two schools in Trafford will have mitigating measures in place. Credit: Google Maps

Two schools in Lancashire will be closed at the start of term after being identified as having a type of potentially dangerous concrete.

Our Lady's High School in Preston posted on its website that it would be closed on Monday 4 September and Tuesday 5 September.

Our Lady's Catholic High School posted that it would be shut. Credit: Our Lady's Catholic High School

St Bernard's RC Primary School in Bolton says its doors will be closed to pupils until Thursday 7th September. In a letter to parents, the headteacher said: “It is bitterly disappointing for you all that we are having to delay the start of term.

“We wish to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to secure the full opening of school as soon as possible.

“A structural RAAC survey was conducted during the holidays due to the age of our school building, this was the directive from the DfE (Department of Education).

“The report was received on the 31st of August. A meeting took place on Friday 1st September with Salford Diocese and contractors to plan the safety measures recommended in the structural report.

“There will be disruption until all the safety measures are in place and it has been agreed and signed off by the Diocese and the DfE.”

At Canon Slade school in Bolton, the headteacher said a recent survey had found 'small areas' containing RAAC- but that these areas would no longer be accessible to students or staff whilst remedial work takes place.

Meanwhile, two schools in Greater Manchester will have mitigating measures in place after government guidance was given about buildings built with dangerous concrete.

Sale Grammar and Altrincham College in the borough of Trafford have measures in place to reduce the impact of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

Other schools across the country have been forced to close as pupils get ready to return following the Summer Holidays.

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “We can confirm that two schools in the borough, Sale Grammar and Altrincham College, have been impacted by the government guidance on reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

“We would like to reassure parents, carers, pupils and school staff that both schools will open as usual next week.

"Mitigating measures are in place and the schools are safe. The safety of pupils and staff remain the priority of the schools and the Council.”

This comes as the schools minister Nick Gibb told ITV News there could be "perhaps a few more" schools with the issue across the UK.

The Department for Education said a "minority" will need to "either fully or partially relocate" to alternative accommodation while safety measures are installed.

Space in nearby schools, community centres or in an "empty local office building" was recommended for the "first few weeks" while buildings are secured with structural supports.

Schools were told moving to pandemic-style remote education should only be considered as a "last resort and for a short period".

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan told broadcasters: "Most parents should not be worried about this at all."

She insisted the government is taking a "cautious approach" which is the "right thing to do for both pupils and staff".

"Nothing is more important than making sure children and staff are safe in schools and colleges, which is why we are acting on new evidence about RAAC now, ahead of the start of term," she said.