Dear Parents and Carers

I would like to take this opportunity to address recent media coverage concerning Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) and provide you with an update on the actions we are taking to prioritise the safety of our students and staff.

Over the past 18 months, our dedicated team has been working closely with the Department for Education (DfE) and specialist experts to thoroughly assess our schools and ensure that we are in alignment with the latest and most comprehensive safety guidance.

As of now, we would like to inform you that two out of our 35 schools have been impacted by the RAAC guidance. While we understand that this may come as unexpected news, we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

In light of the decisions announced by the DFE on August 31st, we have taken immediate steps to address the situation and prioritise the safety of our students:

St Teresa's School, Darlington: We have decided to temporarily close the St Teresa's school site to both staff and children for the first week of September. We are actively working to make alternative arrangements for lessons.

Carmel College: At Carmel College, specific areas will be partially closed off while all children will continue to receive onsite education. These designated areas will be cordoned off from all access to ensure the safety of our students.

We want to emphasise that all our other 33 schools will operate as normal and are fully prepared to welcome students back for the new term. The health and safety of our entire school community is our utmost priority, and these decisions have been made with the best interests of everyone involved in mind.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we navigate this situation together. Rest assured, we will continue to work diligently to maintain a safe and nurturing environment for all our students.

Mike Shorten

Chief Executive Officer, Bishop Hogarth Catholic Trust