WORK HAS begun at Marling School to prepare and install two replacement classrooms following a closure in September. 

After he discovery of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in two Design Technology (DT) workshops, work has begun at Marling School to prepare for and install two replacement temporary DT practical classrooms.

In September, days before the new term, a single-storey building at the rear of the design technology block at Marling School was closed as a precaution after the material was found. 

RAAC, which was used from the 1950s to the mid-1990s, is normally found in roofs, floors, cladding and walls.

Contractors have been onsite since Monday, January 29 and are making good progress to prepare the groundworks for the anticipated delivery date of Friday, February 16.  

A Marling spokesperson said: "Once installed and fitted with workshop equipment, the new classrooms will be used by students for practical lessons, which have sadly had to be reduced since the closure of the workshops in August. 

"Our dedicated team of DT staff are working tirelessly to reduce the impact of these reduced facilities on our students through adapting the curriculum and running hours of additional off timetable sessions, however we know that 50-60 per cent reduction of practical time will have a lasting impact on our young people."

Steve Berry, Head of DT said, "Managing the delivery of a very popular subject at Marling School, with only one practical classroom, has been incredibly challenging.

"We are looking forward to getting into the temporary classrooms and giving students the full DT experience they deserve."

This week Stroud Library was also closed after the discovery of RAAC. 

MP Siobhan Baillie said: “I am pleased these temporary classrooms [at Marling] will soon be in place and I thank staff and pupils for their patience and hard work in continuing lessons.

"I know it has been a disruption and a challenge and this is something I made clear to the minister when I spoke to them on behalf of the school to speed up a response to the discovery of RAAC."

"It is a relief that the library is the only county council owned building where RAAC has been found.  

"I thank the county council for acting quickly and closing it as a precaution.

"It appears disruption from this discovery will be minimal as the library is about to move anyway."