DfE announces Stockport's RAAC affected schools are part of School Rebuilding Programme.

The Department for Education announced that two Stockport schools affected by Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), will be included in the School Rebuilding Programme

DfE announces Stockport's RAAC affected schools are part of School Rebuilding Programme.

St Thomas’ CofE Primary School, on Marriott Street, and Bramhall High School, which were both found to have RAAC following the updated government guidance published in August and extensive surveying by Stockport Council will be included in the School Rebuilding Programmes with one or more buildings rebuilt or refurbished where works to remove RAAC are more extensive or complex.

Further details or timescales for the project have yet to be released.

Councillor Wendy Meikle, Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education at Stockport Council, said: “I am delighted that Bramhall High School and St Thomas’ CofE Primary School have both been announced as being part of the School Rebuilding Programme by the Department for Education, following the discovery of RAAC in their buildings after Stockport Council’s extensive surveys last year.

“This announcement will give reassurance to everyone that the schools will be able to continue in their top priority of giving the children a wonderful education in a safe and secure setting over many years to come.”

The announcement has come just as pupils at both schools enjoy their half term holiday after being back learning at their desks since the start of the spring term thanks to a boroughwide team effort.

Strong #TeamStockport values and partnership working between the affected schools and their staff and local education authority, Stockport Council officers, other education partners and building contractors, ensured all pupils returned to both schools at the start of the spring term. Special thanks must also go to the parents and pupils for their adaptability, resilience, patience and understanding.

Following successful and rapid remedial work by specialist contractors, both schools were made safe and secure for pupils and staff to return, and staff worked hard to ensure teaching spaces were clean, fully resourced, and ready to receive students and teachers. Extra -curricular and lunchtime activities are also fully back up and running.

Paul Williams, headteacher at Bramhall High School said: “I am very pleased to say that Bramhall High School is going to be placed on the DFE School Rebuilding Programme list. Whilst no further details or timescales have been released, we can all agree this is the best result for the school and will see significant improvement in the learning environment in the coming years.”

Mr Williams added: “It’s been fantastic to be able to welcome all school years and children back to our school and we are now getting on with the most important job of continuing the children’s education. It has been a difficult time for everyone but, despite space being restricted, we have been extremely fortunate that the positive attitude and commitment of both our brilliant staff and students has ensured that teaching has been always provided.

“I am grateful to the staff for doing everything to maintain the teaching in difficult circumstances, and to the Local Education Authority in Stockport for ensuring that the repair work has been started so quickly.”

Paul Sanchez, headteacher at St Thomas’, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to welcome our whole school family back into our school and we are so grateful to our children and staff for the incredible resilience they have shown.”

Following the initial discovery of RAAC, measures were taken at both schools to mitigate the disruption to pupils’ education.

Councillor Meikle added: “While last term pupils were either bussed to an alternative site for lessons or were learning through a mix of online or in person teaching, thanks to some incredible teamwork by everyone involved in Stockport we have ensured that pupils have been able to return to school as quickly as possible and all the children have been back at their desks learning face-to-face since the start of the spring term in January.

“I would like to thank the schools, both head teachers and staff, who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safe return of all young people and for their work in maintaining the high standard of the children’s education in challenging circumstances during the RAAC situation, the parents and children for their patience and other council staff and partners involved.”