A SPECIALIST structural engineer has been brought in at a Keighley secondary school found to contain controversial collapse-risk concrete.

Holy Family Catholic School is amongst schools confirmed as having reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, known as RAAC, present in buildings.

The concrete has been found to be weaker than the conventional form of the material, and prone over time to potential collapse.

It's a major factor behind the need for a new Airedale Hospital, which was largely built using RAAC and is now crumbling.

Holy Family – part of the Blessed Christopher Wharton Catholic Academy Trust – says the concrete was discovered in one of its buildings, affecting several classrooms and the school kitchen.

Dr Andrew Morley, the trust's chief executive, said: "Last week the school was only open to pupils in years 7 and 11, and work for all other students was provided online.

"Staff planned how to use the spaces available to allow all other year groups to return this week. Sharon Mather, the headteacher, has been keeping parents and staff informed of the changes being put in place.

"The safety of our pupils is of paramount importance and work is underway to mitigate the risks and minimise disruption to children’s education.

"The academy trust and school leadership have been working closely with the diocese and have engaged a specialist RAAC structural engineer to inspect the building and recommend whatever remedial measures are needed. Ian Wadle, trust estates manager, is having ongoing discussions with the Department for Education to ensure all guidance is being followed correctly."

The Labour Party says Holy Family is amongst at least 19 schools confirmed to have RAAC which had proposed building projects cancelled by the Conservative Government in 2010.

Keighley's former Labour MP, John Grogan, who is to stand again at the next general election, says: "In July 2010 one of the first acts of the new Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, was to cancel Labour’s programme to rebuild schools – which included Holy Family. If that programme had gone ahead, all pupils would have been in school last week beginning the new term.

"The Government must urgently review the need to rebuild Holy Family for the future and not just do a patch up job."

Keighley Conservative MP Robbie Moore says: "It is disappointing to see Labour, including the town’s former MP, use this situation as a party political broadcast – stoking fear amongst parents, young people, staff and the wider community.

"What parents and students need is action and reassurance. I will continue to do everything I can to support Holy Family to achieve this.

"I have spoken with the headteacher and the Secretary of State for Education and been reassured steps are underway to address the structural concerns at the school.

"The Department for Education has confirmed it will fund any works necessary to address structural issues relating to RAAC at Holy Family."