'Insufficient progress' made at school after crumbling concrete discovery

Some classes and preliminary exams were held off-site earlier this year after RAAC was discovered at Forres Academy.

Inspection finds ‘insufficient progress’ made at Forres Academy in Moray after RAAC discovery STV News

A secondary school in Moray has made “insufficient progress” with the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) acknowledged by inspectors.

Forres Academy in the area of west Moray was closed in September 2023 after it was said to be at a “higher level of risk” from collapse-prone concrete.

Some classes and preliminary exams were held off-site earlier this year as a repair programme aimed to mitigate against disruption to pupils.

Following an Education Scotland inspection in April 2023, several areas for improvement were identified and agreed by the school with Moray Council.

A letter released on Tuesday states “more progress is needed to strengthen the strategic leadership of the school” despite senior leaders “engaging successfully to refresh the school values”.

The report states that the quality of learning, including teaching and assessment, remains an “area for continuing improvement”.

Inspectors noted: “Overall, the inspectors found that the school has made insufficient progress since the original inspection, however, they acknowledge the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) within the school building meant time and resources were concentrated on ensuring effective mitigation measures were in place and continued education with as little disruption as possible.”

Jan Sinclair, Forres Academy’s head teacher, said: “This has been an unprecedented year for the school with the discovery of RAAC back in August.

The high school's head teacher said it had been an 'unprecedented' year for the academy.Moray Council

“I couldn’t have asked more of the young people, staff and parents over this challenging time, they’ve coped remarkably well.

“I’m clear as head teacher of what needs done and we hope for a more settled period of time to ensure improvements, many of which are already underway, are providing the best outcomes for our pupils.”

Vivienne Cross, Moray Council’s chief education officer said: “It’s acknowledged that the current session has been an unsettled time for all at the school and I commend pupils and staff for their continued resilience.

“However, we know how important it is to ensure the best possible outcomes for our young people and so we’ll be working at pace with the school to ensure that progress is made.”

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