Royal College Manchester trying to raise £10 million for new building after Raac found

Video report by ITV Granada Reports correspondent Mel Barham.

A student with special educational needs, whose college has been partially closed after crumbling concrete was discovered, says the situation 'makes her feel like crying'.

Royal College Manchester, in Cheadle Hulme, is trying to raise £10 million for a new building after inspectors found it was built with the lightweight and potentially dangerous Reinforced Aerated Autoclave Concrete (Raac).

"It made me feel really sad and really, really upset," said Mollie, who is one of the college students affected.

"I wasn't with the staff who I liked so it made me feel like I wanted to cry. It's had a horrible impact."

The potential dangers of the building has meant 70 students and their teachers can no longer work in the environment safely.

And, as the college is operated by the charity Seashell Trust, it will receive no Government help to front the cost of building a brand new teaching space.

Although the school did have an alternative building to move students to, it is not designed to accommodate pupils with such complex needs and disabilities.

The Chief Executive of Seashell Trust says the move has had a "significant impact" on the young people who all have "very complex needs".

"Putting them through change has a very significant impact on them," Brandon Leigh said.

"There's been lots of anxiety and lots of communication with families before students returned to try and calm students.

"They were having to go into a very unfamiliar environment with no warning at all."

Royal College Manchester says they have spent up to £1 million making facilities suitable for their students, but they say it is a short-term fix for a much bigger problem.

The college is run by a charity and classed as a non-maintained special school, which means it is not overseen by the local authority.

They now face the "significant challenge" of raising an extra £10 million to be able to build a new college to replace the one built with Raac. So far, they have raised £1.5 million.

Clare Sefton, the college's principle, has described the situation as "extremely challenging".

She said: "With the complexity of the students we have a lot of expensive equipment so trying to move all of that came with a lot of challenges and logistical issues."

Royal College Manchester is among more than 100 schools and colleges in England that have been told to fully or partially close due to unsafe concrete.

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