DR LIAM Fox, the MP for North Somerset, has visited Clevedon School to learn more about the changes they have implemented following the identification of HACC (High Alumina Cement Concrete) in many of its buildings.

Dr Fox visited the school on September 30, where he met with headteacher Mr Jim Smith and governor Johnathon Davie, who explained some of the changes they have been forced to put into place.

22 of the school's classrooms and associated offices and storage spaces have been rendered unusable. As a result, students are now being taught in a range of creative spaces including offices, meeting rooms, squash courts and storage huts.

There is also a lack of any sixth form facilities as these are now being used to house classes.

Speaking shortly after the structural issues were found, headteacher Jim Smith said: “I would like to take this opportunity to praise our school community for the way they have approached their learning this week.

"In difficult times they have, in the spirit of our school motto, been kind and brilliant.” 

After the visit, Dr Fox wrote to the secretary of state for education, Gillian Keegan MP.

Dr Fox wrote about the changes made and the consequences of the structural weakness identification: "t]he net result, as I am sure you can readily imagine, is an overall inability to deliver the required curriculum, including exam specification, EHCP requirements and SEND needs.

"I have no doubt that the best outcome here would be to build a new school. Some of the buildings date back to the 1950s and the piecemeal building that has occurred over the years means that there is an unnecessary fragmentation of facilities and a suboptimal use of available space.

"While some might see this as a huge problem, I see it as a huge opportunity, a feeling shared by the headteacher and governors.

"Clevedon is a vibrant community, and the school facilities are well used by a range community groups.

"I think that there is a great chance here for a change of concept that seeks to establish a community centre of which the school is an integral part, rather than simply the school buildings being used for other purposes."

Dr Fox also requested a meeting to discuss these solutions in person.