MP Rebecca Pow and DfE Minister Baroness Barran MBE visit Selworthy Special School
Rebecca Pow Member of Parliament for Taunton Deane visited Selworthy Special School in Taunton on Friday (22nd September) with DfE Minister Baroness Barran MBE.
Ms Pow made urgent calls to the Department of Education regarding the issues with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) at the school following her recent visit.
Baroness Barran MBE responded to Ms Pow immediately with a visit to the school accompanied by Ms Pow to get a full understanding of the impact of RAAC on school life, see the safety measures they have put in place, and speak personally with Executive Headteacher Mark Ruffett and Ian Robinson - Chief Executive Officer, The Oak Partnership Trust.
Local MP Rebecca Pow said:
“I would like to thank Baroness Barran for responding to my urgent call and for her time on Friday, and to thank Ian Robinson and all of his team for continuing to do their much-valued work at Selworthy.
Following my first visit to the school I realised the full impact that RAAC is having on the staff and students and immediately contacted the Department for Education to stress the seriousness of the situation. I was pleased that the Department responded promptly and that I was able to visit again, accompanied by the Minister, so that she could see, first hand, the impact this is having on the school.
It's all credit to the Selworthy staff that they have adapted quickly to the situation so that the school can remain open. Together with a dedicated Department for Education Team a future solution will be proposed following detailed surveying which is underway. I will report back on the next steps as soon as I am able and will be working with the school and the DfE to ensure suitable solutions.”
Minister for the School System and Student Finance Baroness Barran said:
“The safety of our students and teachers remains our number one priority, which is why my focus has been on ensuring that every school affected by RAAC is being supported properly.
Witnessing the remarkable efforts of head teachers and responsible bodies at Selworthy Special School to ensure education can continue fills me with profound admiration. I am also hugely grateful to Rebecca Pow MP, for her ongoing work and support of the school.
We will continue to work with the school to determine what mitigation measures will be the most appropriate and identify a long-term solution for the school and its pupils.”