Bridget Phillipson has pledged a thorough review of school buildings to ensure they are sustainable in the long term if Labour gets into power.

The Shadow Education Secretary said the RAAC crisis has taken a toll on schools like St Leonard’s in Durham because of a failure in government over the last 14 years.

Children who attend the catholic secondary school are still being taught in temporary classrooms and at Ushaw College five miles away as their buildings have been deemed unsafe.

Speaking at Corbridge Middle School, Ms Phillipson said: “I've visited St Leonard’s and met with parents and with staff.

“The Government is now spending millions of pounds on temporary accommodation because they haven't had a proper school rebuilding programme over the course of the last decade and it's young people who are paying the price for government failure.

“A Labour government would need to take full stock of what's going on across our schools.

“RAAC is a really big challenge but we've got a third of schools now that are beyond their design life.

“Some of the schools I visit have been using buckets to catch water from leaking roofs.

“The government are wasting scandalous amounts of money, spending good money after bad, because of a failure to plan for the long term.”

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Ms Phillipson said she has spoken to Ofqual and UCAS to support students at schools like St Leonard’s currently sitting GCSEs and A-levels in the hope mitigating circumstances will be considered when university places are given out.

She said: “I've met with Ofqual specifically on this point around the schools that have been most adversely affected by the impact of RAAC, and St Leonard’s is one of the worst affected in the whole country, to push them to make sure that the school is being offered support that everything is being made as easy as possible in terms of ensuring that there is some flexibility particularly in practical subjects where the school has struggled.

“You do need to make sure that you maintain the same standards across the country so that there is rigour in the process.

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“But I don't think that ministers have been engaged enough in their conversations to make sure that parents are assured that their children will be getting all the support they need.

“There is a longer term problem that we will face which is that to be when it comes to university admissions that universities are made aware of the impact this has had on children's GCSEs as well as A-levels.

“That's a conversation I've had with UCAS, about how they make sure that decisions are being made with the full information as to the impact of RAAC  on the young person's results.”

The Department for Education has been contacted for comment.