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Stowupland High School near Stowmarket sees temporary buildings installed due to RAAC

Temporary buildings are being installed at a secondary school that has been affected by the discovery of a lightweight form of concrete known as RAAC.

The start of the school year has been disrupted at Stowupland High School in Stowupland, near Stowmarket, after reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) was found, leading to the closure of 17 learning spaces.

In a home bulletin to parents and carers dated September 22, headteacher David Brewster said it had been their first week back as a full school and students and staff were managing with all the different teaching rooms and more busy corridors and social spaces.

Temporary buildings are being installed at Stowupland High School
Temporary buildings are being installed at Stowupland High School

Temporary accommodation has been sourced and, according to a home bulletin dated November 3, despite the wet weather installation continues.

Mr Brewster said in the bulletin: “This week I had the opportunity to have a look inside each building so we can start to plan how they need to be converted into classrooms that match our requirements.

“There is still a lot of work to be done and any ground works are being slowed by the saturated field.

The temporary buildings have been sourced after RAAC was discovered at the school
The temporary buildings have been sourced after RAAC was discovered at the school

“However, I know the team are working flat out to complete the work. I am very confident that when finished, they will be excellent learning spaces for our students and staff to work in.”

The discovery of RAAC has also meant sixth form science students are using facilities at Thurston Community College, near Bury St Edmunds.

A spokesperson for the John Milton Academy Trust, which the school is part of, said: “The trust has made huge efforts to limit any disruption to pupils and maintain the highest level of learning after RAAC concrete was discovered at Stowupland High School in early September, including a quantity found in the school’s science labs.

“Work is progressing on preparing temporary classrooms. Meanwhile, students remain in face-to-face learning in school.

“The trust has reviewed the curriculum to identify any practical work that would require a science lab and has concluded the majority can continue to go ahead in the school’s existing classrooms, including our year 11 GCSE science students’ practical work.

“However, as the trust’s sixth form science students require a fully equipped lab, they will be utilising Thurston Community College’s Beyton site on a limited basis in the near future to complete their practical work.

“Providing the highest standards of education for our pupils throughout this time remains our utmost priority.

“The trust will remain in close contact with the Department for Education and will update parents and carers on any further developments.”

A footpath across the school field, called footpath 36, has been closed by Suffolk County Council to facilitate building works due to RAAC.

Stowupland High is one of seven schools in Suffolk known to contain RAAC.