THE youngest pupils at a school riddled with collapse-prone material are finally set to be taught at their new school nine months after the start of the crumbling concrete crisis.

Year 7 pupils at the Gilberd School in Colchester, one of the schools worst affected by collapse-prone reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac), have been taught at the nearby Trinity School since the start of the school year.

Executive headteacher Linda Exley has confirmed the school in Brinkley Lane “currently has space for four year groups”.

In a letter to parents, she said Year 7 pupils will return to the school when the outgoing Year 11s finish their studies in June.

Gazette: Leader - Linda ExleyLeader - Linda Exley

“We need to consider that Year 7 have exams in the summer and these will be better in a building they know well – Trinity,” she wrote.

Earlier this month, the government announced 46 schools in Essex, including the Gilberd, are to have at least one building affected by Raac rebuilt.

Ms Exley anticipates 31 classrooms will be back in use by the start of the next school year in September, with works to another five classrooms, the dining room, and kitchen to be completed in the autumn term.

She added school leaders are “continuing to exercise our influence” to gain support for Year 11 pupils whose preparation for GCSE exams has been halted by the Raac crisis.

Gazette: Issues - the Gilberd is one of the schools worst affected by RaacIssues - the Gilberd is one of the schools worst affected by Raac (Image: Newsquest)

The school has notified the exam boards of the situation and is contacting colleges and sixth form centres “to alert them to the extent to which Raac has caused disruption to this academic year”.

Schools across the country were forced to close buildings where the collapsing concrete is present after an announcement by the Department for Education just days before the start of the school year.

The Gilberd initially introduced a rota system which saw pupils welcomed to the site for part of the school day.

The oldest pupils were welcomed back full-time later in September, with Years 8, 9, and 10 returning in the weeks that followed.

Another school in the borough, Thurstable School in Tiptree, is also included in the government’s new rebuilding programme.