Pupils at St Edward’s Catholic Academy, in Swadlincote, have returned to face to face learning thanks to the hard work of staff across the Trust.

Following the Government’s announcement about Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), Years 3 to 6 at St Edward’s have moved temporarily to Blessed Robert Sutton Catholic Voluntary Academy, in Burton, after empty classrooms there were transformed in just four days,

Nursery to Year Two have been able to return safely to St Edward’s.

Kevin Gritton, Chief Executive of the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust, said “Due to an issue with RAAC at St Edward’s Catholic Academy, in Swadlincote, Years 3 to 6 will be accommodated temporarily at Blessed Robert Sutton Catholic Voluntary Academy in Burton.

“All of the necessary arrangements around safeguarding, travel, toilets, break and lunch times, are in place.

“There are a small number of areas that we are able to use safely at St Edward’s which means that Nursery, Reception, Year One and Year Two were able to return to classrooms at the school that are not affected.

“We do not know how long this arrangement will need to last as we will be carrying out investigations at St Edward’s over the coming weeks to determine what remedial works can take place in areas where RAAC is present.

“This has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone involved but it has demonstrated the strength of the relationships that we have across our Trust. We would like to thank Miss O’Leary, Headteacher at Blessed Robert Sutton, and her staff for all of their hard work and support. We would also like to thank staff at St Edward’s and the Trust for the work they have done to make sure that children at both locations had everything they needed when they returned on Monday.

“We would like to thank parents and carers for their support and understanding. We do appreciate that this will be an unsettling time for them and for our pupils, but we would like to reassure them that the safety of our pupils and staff is our top priority.

“We will keep in regular contact with parents and carers and share any updates with them as soon as we are able to.”

Kay Methven, Headteacher at St Edward’s, said: “We would like to thank our parents and carers, they have been so understanding and patient. I want to say a huge thank you to our staff, to Miss O’Leary and her staff at Blessed Robert Sutton and to the Trust. Everyone has been amazing and we have all worked together to ensure that our pupils could return to face to face learning from Monday and all of this has been put in place in four days, which is an amazing achievement.”

Laura O’Leary, Headteacher at Blessed Robert Sutton, said: “We are pleased to be able to support one of our partner primary schools and would like to thank all of our staff, particularly our site team, for all of the hard work that they have done to make this possible. We are excited to have the younger pupils on site with us.”