A school that was found to be one of many in the UK with a dangerous type of concrete is to spend up to £2 million on temporary classrooms while remedial works are carried out.

The maths block building at St Gregory’s Catholic Science College, Kenton, was found to contain a type of concrete that sparked nationwide safety fears last year.

Known as reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac), the dangerous material was used in schools, colleges, and other buildings between the 1950s and 70s in the UK, but has since been found to be at risk of collapse.

The issue was originally expected to be resolved over a weekend before the start of the school year in 2023, but after further inspection it was agreed temporary accommodation was needed during repairs.

It has emerged that these works will be carried out over the summer holidays, with staff and pupils set to return to normality by the end of 2024.

Brent & Kilburn Times: Education Secretary Gillian Keegan visited St Gregory's Catholic Science College to see how it was dealing with the Raac situationEducation Secretary Gillian Keegan visited St Gregory's Catholic Science College to see how it was dealing with the Raac situation (Image: St Gregory's)

The temporary units include a two-storey, six-classroom block, a one-storey art block, and a one-storey bathroom facility.

The buildings will be positioned on the existing playground space, which is currently leased by the school.

As the site is situated within the locally listed Woodcock Park, the approval was only made on a temporary basis.

Some local groups, including the Friends of Woodcock Park, raised prior concerns about the use of the site and wanted assurances that it will be put back to its original state.

A spokesperson for Friends of Woodcock commented against the application: “We appreciate the erection of temporary classroom buildings within the park is due to exceptional circumstances.

“We would like to see guarantees that when the Raac problem is resolved, Woodcock Park will be restored to its original condition.” 

In September last year, headteacher Andrew Prindiville said that St Gregory’s staff “continue to ensure outstanding teaching standards are maintained” at the school, despite the disruption.

Cabinet member for children, young people and schools, Cllr Gwen Grahl, said: “The additional remedial works are due to start in the summer holidays. Students and teachers will then be able to move back into the school. These works are expected to be completed by the end of the year.”