PUPILS at a Colchester secondary school will be impacted by collapsing concrete issues at the start of the new school year.

Thomas Lord Audley School, in Monkwick Avenue, Colchester, wrote to parents today to confirm 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 RAAC, which is prone to collapse, has been used.

Headteacher Simon Essex said he had “no option but to partially close the school on a rota basis” after learning ten classrooms are deemed unsafe.

Is Thomas Lord Audley School closed because of concrete issues?

The school will operate the following rota next week:

  • Monday – open to Year 7 pupils only
  • Tuesday – open to Year 7 and Year 11 pupils only
  • Wednesday – open to Year 7, Year 8, and Year 11 pupils only
  • Thursday – open to Year 7, Year 10, and Year 11 pupils only
  • Friday – open to Year 7, Year 9, Year 10, and Year 11 pupils only
  • Year 8 pupils will be taught remotely on Thursday and Friday.

Gazette: School - Thomas Lord AudleySchool - Thomas Lord Audley (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Essex added: “The school, alongside the Department for Education, are arranging an urgent structural survey to ascertain that the building is safe.

“Unfortunately, until further investigations and surveys have been undertaken we do not have the facilities to house the whole school on any given day.

“More information will become available over the next few days.”

Berechurch councillor Dave Harris said he was “deeply concerned” by the impact the RAAC issue has had on schools across Colchester and the rest of the country.

He added: “The partial school closure at Thomas Lord Audley is sensible as child safety is vital. My own grandchildren go there.

“The questions I am asking is how long has this been known about nationally and will urgent assessment be made to discover what the impact is on each class?

“Parents I have spoken to are alarmed at the risk which must have existed for a while. Education is vital to our young people, but staff and pupils must be assured of safety.”