FRINTON schoolchildren embarking on their GCSEs have had the start of the school year postponed after the Government forced school bosses to close a building plagued by crumbling concrete.

Tendring Technology College, in Rochford Way, is one of more than 100 schools ordered to close buildings containing reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac), a lightweight building material which is prone to collapse.

Pupils in Year 10 and 11, and sixth formers, were expecting to return to school on Friday but their return has been delayed until next Monday.

Meanwhile, Year 7 pupils will join the school on Thursday with Year 8 and 9 pupils returning to school the following day.

Academies Enterprise Trust, which manages Tendring Technology College, said it had no choice but to close one building.

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A spokesman for the trust confirmed: “Tendring Technology College is one of the schools identified by the Department for Education as having Raac concrete, which was used in the Gunfleet building on Frinton campus.

"This building will now be taken out of use, with lessons taking place elsewhere on the school site.

“We have written to all families to let them know about the situation and our plan for the start of term, which means all students will be able to continue their education face to face in school.

"We recognise this is unsettling news for our whole school community and have worked closely with the Department for Education and Essex County Council throughout, with everyone focused on minimising any disruption."

Clacton County High School pupils are also facing disruption as they enter the new school year.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Disrupted - Clacton County High SchoolDisrupted - Clacton County High School (Image: Steve Brading)

Executive headteacher Neil Gallagher confirmed the school remained closed for all pupils today and will welcome Year 7 pupils tomorrow, while other year groups will be taught remotely.

White Hall Academy confirmed in a letter to parents it would need to delay the start of school for two extra days after the material was found in one of its buildings.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: School - White Hall AcademySchool - White Hall Academy (Image: Steve Brading)

The crisis could affect more schools, as PM Rishi Sunak said 95 per cent of England’s schools are not affected by Raac, leaving open the possibility that about 1,100 could have issues.

But Number 10 has said it “can’t be more definitive” until schools have returned their building surveys to the Department for Education.