Mary Kelly Foy - Bringing Durham Together

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St Leonard's RC School, RAAC Closure - Update!

On 31st August I received the dreadful news that St Leonard’s School was to remain closed to pupils following the summer holidays due to RAAC being present in sections of the school buildings.

You will no doubt have seen the press coverage about the RAAC crisis and upon my return to Westminster I immediately started work pressuring the government to offer urgent support to St Leonard’s.

 I am so grateful to all the parents and carers of St Leonard’s pupils for the goodwill and support you have given to the school so far, I know this is greatly appreciated by the staff and leadership of the school. Yet the longer this situation goes on, understandably parents and children will become more anxious. 

Dear Parent/Carer, RE: St Leonard’s RC School, RAAC Closure – MP Update I am writing to you today to provide you with an update on the work I have been doing to play my part in getting St Leonard’s pupils back into face-to-face teaching. Firstly, I would like to thank you and all the parents of St Leonard’s pupils for the goodwill and support you have given to the school so far, I know this is greatly appreciated by the staff and leadership of the school. Yet the longer this situation goes on, understandably parents and children will become more anxious. As you will know from the previous email I sent to you, last week I raised the case of St Leonard’s twice in the House of Commons, but I have taken more action since then. I have remained in constant contact with the senior leadership at the school and will be meeting with them again in person later this week. From my discussions with the school, it has become increasingly apparent that despite the best efforts of senior leadership at the school and the Trust, the DFE is simply not moving quickly enough. As I understand it, St Leonard’s has provided the DFE with several proposals which would greatly increase the amount of face-to-face teaching currently taking place. The DFE is yet to give approval. That is why I wrote to the Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan, and offered to work with her to find a solution, you can read my letter to the Secretary of State in full in the attached document to this email. I also raised a Point of Order with the Speaker of the House of Commons in which I Implored the Secretary of State to come back to the House this week and provide a Ministerial update (https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2023-09-12/debates/4FB2EC37-7A4E-4548-A5C6- 9DC11E83791E/PointsOfOrder?highlight=implore#contribution-020FAA8B-B8D6-4EAD-9C34- 75403EA60C0C). As of the time of writing, the Secretary of State has yet to reply to my letter or my point of order. Rest assured I will continue to push for St Leonards to receive the support it needs and deserves. Please note, this update is not a replacement for official communications from the school and I would recommend that you refer to their latest update for more information. Should you have any more questions you can raise them with the school directly or I can pass them on to the leadership. Kind regards, Mary Kelly Foy

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