COLCHESTER’S biggest secondary school is set to be rebuilt after several of its buildings were closed following the discovery of crumbling concrete.

The Gilberd School is one of 46 schools in Essex affected by collapse-prone reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) included in a school rebuilding programme announced by the government today.

Almost 40 per cent of the 119 schools included in the programme across England are in the county.

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Gazette: Affected - the Gilberd was one of the schools worst affected by the Raac crisisAffected - the Gilberd was one of the schools worst affected by the Raac crisis (Image: Newsquest)

North Essex Raac schools being rebuilt

As well as the Gilberd, these north Essex schools will also have at least one building rebuilt or refurbished:

  • Spring Meadow Primary School & School House Nursery
  • Ravens Academy
  • Baynards Primary School
  • Clacton County High School
  • Elmstead Primary School
  • Great Tey Primary School
  • Holy Trinity Primary School, Eight Ash Green and Aldham
  • Mistley Norman Primary School
  • St Lawrence Primary School
  • Honywood School
  • Thurstable School
  • White Hall Academy

Another 22 schools in Essex will receive grants to fund the removal of Raac from their buildings where works will typically be smaller in scale, including:

  • Cann Hall Primary School
  • Manningtree High School
  • Cherry Tree Academy
  • Harwich and Dovercourt High School
  • Mersea Island School
  • St Helena School
  • Stanway Fiveways Primary School
  • Tendring Technology College
  • Ramsey Academy
  • Thomas Lord Audley School

Harwich and North Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin said: “The timing of these projects is still not known but the government is going to manage the rebuilds itself to ensure they are done as quickly as possible.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who has supported the campaign for these school rebuilds, and my thanks also goes to the headteachers and staff of all the schools that have been impacted by this crisis.”

Gazette: Grateful - Harwich and North Essex MP Sir Bernard JenkinGrateful - Harwich and North Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin (Image: Archant)

Education secretary Gillian Keegan told schools to close buildings where the lightweight building material was present just days before the start of the school year in September last year.

Ms Keegan said: “Nothing is more important to me than the safety of every child and member of staff in school.

“We will continue to work closely with schools and colleges as we take the next step to permanently remove Raac from affected buildings.

“I want to thank all schools, colleges and local authorities who have worked tirelessly with the department to ensure all children remain in face-to-face education.”