Our central Estates team support our site staff in all our schools to maintain school buildings to ensure all our pupils and staff have safe environments that are fit for purpose. It is vital our school buildings are maintained and comply with statutory and mandatory duties relating to health and safety. We have an ongoing programme of capital works scheduled to maintain and upgrade our school buildings, and are supported by a number of contractors:
School Rebuilding Programme
We were also successful in securing funding under the Department for Education’s (DfE) School Rebuilding Programme. This will allow us to rebuild four of our schools which will greatly benefit our students and their local communities.
Work is currently underway at St. Aidan’s Catholic Academy and St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, both in Sunderland. St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Sunderland, and St. Aloysious Catholic Infant School, Hebburn are both in tranche four of the DfE School Rebuilding Programme.
At the end of the summer holidays (August 2023), we were advised by the Department for Education (DfE) that three of our schools had Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) and these sites should close.
The affected schools are St Bede’s Catholic School and Byron Sixth Form College, Peterlee, St. James Catholic Primary School, Hebburn and St. John Bosco Catholic Primary School, Sunderland.
Since then, we have been collaborating closely with our colleagues at the DfE, to clarify the works required to make the building safe, secure specialist contractors, and put in place a timeframe for the works.
All pupils are currently in face-to-face learning, either in the parts of the building that are still safe to use, on at other sites. We would like to thank our Trust schools for their support, and also our local communities. Thanks to the Sisters of Mercy for use of Gabriel House, Sunderland College for use of Washington Campus and St. James’s Parish, Hebburn for use of the Emmaeus Centre.