Nairn Academy and Charleston Academy

The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of pupils at Nairn Academy and Charleston Academy (Inverness).

The letter states:

“You may have seen recent press coverage regarding public buildings across Scotland that have been reported as having Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) structures.

“The Highland Council has two schools that are known to have buildings that contain RAAC components in their roof and wall construction; these are Charleston Academy and Nairn Academy. The Council has been carrying out regular surveys of these buildings since 2019 in line with relevant guidance and as part of an overall management strategy.

“Further guidance was issued by the Institution of Structural Engineers in April 2023 and as a result the Council arranged for surveys and assessments to take place during the current summer holiday period. These were carried out by a firm of Chartered Engineers that have the required expertise and experience to undertake RAAC assessments.

“The surveys and assessments have resulted in the following course of action.

  1. Phase 1 Works: The Engineer has identified a relatively limited amount of essential works that require to be carried out prior to either some internal rooms being reoccupied, or some external areas being fully accessed. These works are being prioritised for completion during the remainder of the holiday period where possible, and to allow both schools to open as planned for the start of the new session in August.
  2. Phase 2 Works: These are works that have been recommended by the Engineer in order to bring the structures up to the revised standards and reduce risk  in the future. The sequence and timing of these works is being finalised but it is anticipated that they will be carried out during the new school session and over the October holiday period by arrangement with the respective Head Teachers. A contractor has been engaged to carry out the Phase 1 and 2 works at both schools.
  3. Phase 3 Works: Regular monitoring and inspection will be undertaken as part of the ongoing building maintenance and management strategy.  

“Highland Council has been proactive in managing this issue and reacted as soon as further guidance was issued earlier this year. Officers have liaised with Head Teachers both prior to and during the holiday period to keep them fully up to date and to agree the areas of the buildings to prioritise in order to mitigate risk and minimise disruption to pupils and staff during the new school session.”

2 Aug 2023