Update on RAAC and Buckinghamshire Schools

Buckinghamshire Council is aware that three schools within the county are on the Department for Education RAAC list that has been published this week (Wed 6 September)

The council has been supporting these schools which are academies, meaning the council does not have responsibility for maintaining and managing their sites. We are pleased that all settings are able to continue face to face learning for all students with no disruption to usual teaching.

Of the three Buckinghamshire schools on the DfE list:

Waddesdon School, Waddesdon (academy) - the school has had a structural survey this week and RAAC has only been identified as being present in the restaurant area. It means all teaching blocks are open and the school is returning to full face to face learning as always planned at the start of the new academic year for all year groups

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Chalfont St Peter (academy) - the school has already undertaken remediation works and is fully open with no disruption to normal teaching arrangements

St Michael’s Catholic School, High Wycombe (academy) - the school has informed the council that RAAC was previously identified on site and remedial works are underway with arrangements already in place to teach students in temporary blocks on site as required, so there is no disruption to normal teaching arrangements

Anita Cranmer is Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services. She said:

“This has been an incredibly challenging week for schools up and down the country that were already busy getting students back to the start of the new school year and I applaud all of our school staff for their hard work at this particular time, given that our schools have been inundated with questions and concerns about this matter.

I am really pleased that the impact on Buckinghamshire students is extremely minimal; the vast majority of our students are returning to a new school year this week under their usual arrangements and for those few sites that have been impacted by this matter, arrangements are in place to both keep students safe and to avoid disruption to face to face teaching with no remote or hybrid arrangements being required.

We are continuing to work closely, as ever, with all our schools to support them and to ensure all our students continue to access the best possible education and teaching here in Buckinghamshire. Again our school staff, students and parents and carers have shown great resilience this week and I thank them for their continuing hard work.”

Update from Waddesdon school, issued on behalf of Headteacher Matthew Abbott:

Matthew Abbott is Head teacher at Waddesdon School. He said:

“Following an inspection this week by a team of chartered structural engineers, I am delighted to say that we have specialist confirmation that there is no RAAC present in any teaching sections of the school.

The only identified area where RAAC is present is our restaurant block which remains out of use while remedial activity gets underway. I’m delighted to be able to confirm that it means the full return to school as normal for all students from today (Thursday) for full face to face learning as originally intended.

I am extremely grateful to all offers of help and support during this most challenging of weeks and for the ongoing understanding and resilience of our students, staff, families and the wider community. We are all looking forward to getting the new school year underway.”