It has been more than six months since collapse-risk concrete was found at several schools in our county.

Many schools were forced to delay the beginning of the new term in September with the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) being present. This is a form of lightweight concrete used in construction in many buildings between the 1950s and 1990s.

It is different to traditional reinforced concrete, as RAAC is aerated, or ‘bubbly’. This makes it susceptible to structural failure when exposed to moisture, as these bubbles can allow water to enter the material.

In February, it was announced that seven schools in Suffolk would be rebuilt or refurbished under a new programme rolled out by the Department of Education.

These schools included Stowupland High School, Farlingaye High School, Hadleigh High School, Claydon High School, East Bergholt High School, Thurston Community College and Glade Academy in Brandon.

Now, with the exam season just around the corner, thousands of young people are preparing to take their GCSEs. With this in mind, we asked schools how students and teachers are feeling ahead of the exam period.

East Anglian Daily Times: East Bergholt High School was among those affected by RAAC. Image: Google MapsEast Bergholt High School was among those affected by RAAC. Image: Google Maps (Image: Google Maps)East Anglian Daily Times: Hadleigh High School was among those affected by RAAC. Image: Google MapsHadleigh High School was among those affected by RAAC. Image: Google Maps (Image: Google Maps)

A spokesperson for Stowupland High School said remedial works at the school were making “good progress”.

“Our focus has always been on minimising disruption to student learning, and we are pleased our new Learning Village, comprised of classrooms and science labs, is now open,” they said.

“Any pupils or parents concerned about upcoming exams are welcome to contact us to discuss available support.”

Hadleigh, Claydon and East Bergholt high schools all belong to the Penrose Trust. A spokesperson said that temporary solutions would remain at East Bergholt and Hadleigh, but that Claydon students and their other school, would be able to return to the main school site by the end of term.

“When notified, we acted immediately to ensure temporary classrooms were installed as quickly as possible to minimise any disruption to teaching and learning,” they said.

“Since then, we have continued to work alongside relevant authorities to assess and rectify the situation.

“Our main priority - alongside the health and safety of students and staff - is ensuring that all learners feel equipped and supported in the lead up to their exams. We have put all necessary provision in place to alleviate any concern and will continue to support students as much as possible as they prepare for such an important period.

“We would like to thank all our parents and students for their continued patience, cooperation and adaptability in the face of a challenging situation.”