A SECONDARY school in the Braintree district has confirmed it will remain closed next week as some of its buildings contain potentially dangerous concrete.

Honywood School, in Westfield Drive, Coggeshall, said it is one of more than 100 schools across the country where reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) is present in its buildings.

The Government told schools yesterday to close buildings where the RAAC, which is prone to collapse, has been used.

In a letter sent to parents today, the school confirmed 22 of its classrooms are unusable and must be closed with immediate effect.

Gazette: Headteacher - James SaundersHeadteacher - James Saunders

Headteacher James Saunders wrote: “We appreciate this news will be very unsettling for everyone, but we must follow what the Department for Education is requiring us to do.

“Our priority is to mitigate risk and minimise disruption to learners and staff during the new school term.

“You will understand we have had to make plans very quickly so that the children’s education can continue as disruption free as possible.”


The school will be closed next week, except for on Wednesday when it will be open to Year 7 students only.

Mr Saunders said in the short term the school will implement remote learning using iPads and video conferencing, similar to what was on offer during the coronavirus pandemic.

He added he hopes the school will be able to source additional teaching spaces, either in the form of portable buildings or off-site provisions.

The school will be partially open from Monday, September 11.

Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin said he understands 65 schools across the county are affected by RAAC, potentially making it the worst affected area of the UK.

The Gilberd School, one of the largest secondary schools in Colchester, has also confirmed it will remain closed to pupils next week.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb told GB News: “I know parents and children will be frustrated by this but our paramount concern is the safety of children and staff in those schools.”