A Darlington primary school has become the first in the town to close after RAAC was found on the premises.

St Teresa's primary school will close until at least September 11 while surveyors carry out inspections.

This comes as more than 100 schools across England face closure due to crumbling concrete.

The Department of Education announced that buildings with RAAC would have to be vacated immediately.

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Headteacher Paula Strachan said: "Dear School Family,

"I need to let you know that on advice from the Department for Education, our Trust have taken the difficult decision to close St Teresa's for the safety of the children.

"I appreciate that this news is distressing but I would like to assure you that, as always, our school family and their safety is our priority.

"School will be closed initially until Monday 11th September. During this period, we will be working with DfE-appointed surveyors to establish the extent of the problem and to identify our next steps to ensure the ongoing education and safety of our children.

"I will give you a further update on Monday with information about free school meals, online learning, how you can contact us and any other updates that are available at that point.

"During lockdown, we learnt how strong our school family is and I know that we will soon be back to loving, laughing and learning together the way that we do at St Teresa’s.

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"Much love to you all, please give the children a hug from us all and we’ll see you soon."

Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, said: "We all want to provide our children with the best education, and part of that is providing a safe learning environment. I deeply disappointed to learn that some schools in Darlington will be unable to start their new term as planned due to the announced safety concerns caused by Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).

"I will be working closely with the affected schools to see what can be done to ensure that they can re-opened to full capacity as soon as possible. 

"The Government has allocated over £13 billion since 2015 to maintain and improve school facilities across England, including £1.8 billion for the 2023-24 financial year. This funding is part of the total £19.4 billion of capital funding announced at the 2021 Spending Review to support the education sector until 2025.

"I know schools will be concerned about the financial implications of the remedial work needed to be done to address the RAAC and I am pleased that the Department for Education have confirmed that they will be covering the costs of all work needed to be done, including covering the cost of any temporary accommodation needed to ensure we can get pupils back in schools."

RAAC has been used in construction from the 1950s to the mid-1990s.

It has been found to be prone to failure. Back in 2018, the roof of a Kent primary school collapsed and RAAC was later found to be to blame.