St Michael’s School in Stockton is incorrectly placed on the RAAC watchlist

A letter to MP Alex Cunningham, signed by Education Minister Gillian Keegan, listed three schools in his Stockton North constituency as potentially containing the deteriorating material.

But St Michael’s Catholic Academy confirmed to the Echo that there was no RAAC in its building as it was completely demolished and rebuilt in 2016, years after it was no longer used for construction purposes.

Read more: LISTED: Schools in the northeast had to close due to a real risk of collapse

Cunningham posted the three names on X, formerly Twitter, but later had to clarify that the site was not affected.

The Northern Echo: Stockton MP Alex CunninghamStockton MP Alex Cunningham (Image: STUART BOULTON)

The school said it wanted to ensure parents were not “unnecessarily concerned”.

It comes just a day after the Tory minister claimed she was doing a “damn good job” while others were “sitting on her ass” in a rant caught on camera.

She later apologized and said it was a spontaneous remark.

St Michael’s in Billingham, Stockton, said it was mistakenly placed on the watchlist and its potentially RAAC-contaminated building was demolished seven years ago.

Deputy headteacher Marc Scott told the Echo: “The students at St Michael’s are very fortunate to have a modern, modern and vibrant school facility.

“However, it appears that St. Michael’s was mistakenly placed on a ‘watch list’ for RAAC. The school was completely rebuilt in 2016, many years after RAAC ceased to be used in public buildings.

“We don’t want the school’s staff, parents and students to be unnecessarily alarmed.”

The Northern Echo: The old school building was demolished in 2016.The old school building was demolished in 2016. (Image: GOOGLE)

Meanwhile, investigations are ongoing at the other two schools named in the letter – William Cassidi CoE Aided Primary School and Frederick Nattrass Primary School.

Cunningham, Labor MP for Stockton North, described ministers as “completely clueless” and called on Gillian Keegan to “look into” the matter and give parents and teachers confidence.

He said: “Since the DfE sent its letter about suspected RAAC in three schools in my constituency, it now emerges that schools were mistakenly placed on the department’s ‘watch list’ and are in fact safe.

“In one case the DfE did not even appear to be aware that St Michael’s was completely demolished and rebuilt in 2016 and the survey was planned to be carried out on a non-existent building.

The Northern Echo: The new school buildingThe new school building (Image: GOOGLE)

“Ministers seem completely clueless on this matter and it would be funny if the situation wasn’t deadly serious. How can anyone be certain of what they say on this topic if they don’t even have the most up-to-date information?

“The Secretary of State and her team must get this problem under control and give parents and school leaders confidence.”

The Echo contacted the other schools listed in the letter.

The Northern Echo: Education Minister Gillian Keegan.Education Minister Gillian Keegan. (Image: PA)

More than 100 schools were ordered to close their doors this week, spelling chaos for parents seeking short-term child care and teachers preparing for the new school year.

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A Department for Education spokesperson said: “As of Thursday we have been clear about how many schools are directly affected by RAAC. It is important that schools are given time to inform parents and consider their next steps with full support from our caseworkers before the list of affected schools is published.

“52 of the 156 RAAC cases identified already have remedial action in place, and while some of the remaining projects will be more complex, many will range from just a single building on a larger site to a single classroom.”

“We are incredibly grateful to school and college leaders for working quickly with us to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum where children are affected, and in the even rarer cases where remote learning is required, “This is entirely possible in days, not weeks.” St Michael’s School in Stockton is incorrectly placed on the RAAC watchlist

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