Dear Parent / Carer,
With deep regret and some frustration I am writing to inform you about possible disruption to the start of the school’s new academic year next Wednesday.
You may have seen BBC News reports last night about the use of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in the construction of schools, hospitals, and other buildings between circa 1950 and 1990. In some instances, the poor condition of this RAAC has led to the partial or full closure of schools whilst structural repairs have been carried out or alternative facilities provided.
In line with DfE guidance, an initial RAAC survey of Wood Green took place over the summer and this revealed the presence of RAAC in part of Weston block. A further more intrusive survey has since taken place and this has led to the immediate closure of this part of the school for safety reasons until remedial work has taken place. Currently, there is no confirmed RAAC in other parts of the school.
There have been subsequent on line meetings with DfE and the LA and until yesterday, 31st August, the intention was to open the school to all students on Wednesday 6th September as planned, though with some classrooms closed until October.
This plan changed yesterday afternoon, however, when DfE announced a policy change that took more of a zero tolerance approach toward risk. As stated, this policy change has significantly increased the likelihood of disruption to the start of the new academic year whilst further investigative work takes place. I realise that this would be incredibly frustrating for all concerned, especially students and staff, but please be assured that the absolute priority is the safety of students and staff.
I’m sorry that I cannot provide any more information at this time but I will write to you again with an update as soon as possible and after further meeting(s) with the DfE as we confirm next steps.
Mr J. Topham